The Church organized a new stake in Goias State, Brazil on January 31st. The Rio Verde Brazil Stake was organized from the Rio Verde Brazil District and the Brazil Goiana Mission. The new stake includes the following five wards and one branch: the Bandeirantes, Itumbiara, Jataí, Morada do Sol, and Rio Verde Wards and the Popular Branch. The original Rio Verde Brazil District was organized in 1997. There are now six stakes in Goias State.
There are now 258 stakes and 38 districts in Brazil.
The Church organized a new stake in the Guatemala City metropolitan area on January 21st. The Linda Vista Guatemala Stake was organized from a division of the Amatitlán Guatemala Stake and the Villa Nueva Guatemala Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Alamedas, Eterna Primavera, Linda Vista, Naciones, and Sonora Ward. There are now 21 stakes in the Guatemala City metropolitan area.
There are now 45 stakes and 16 districts in Guatemala.
The Church organized a new stake in the Dallas area on February 7th. The Irving Texas Stake was organized from a division of the Dallas Texas Stake and the Carrollton Texas Stakes. The new stake includes the following six wards: the Dallas 6th, Grand Prairie 1st, Grand Prairie 2nd, Irving, Pioneer (Spanish), and Shady Grove (Spanish) Wards. There are now 19 stakes in the Dallas metropolitan area.
There are now 68 stakes and three districts in Texas.
The Church organized a second district in the Micronesian nation of Kiribati. The Tarawa Kiribati North District was organized from a division of the Tarawa Kiribati East Stake. There are six branches in the new district: the Abaokoro, Abatoa, Buota, Tearinibai, Temaiku 1st, and Temaiku 2nd Branches - two of which were organized since the beginning of the year. Senior missionaries serving on Tarawa have reported over the past year or two plans to organize the district in an effort to ultimately establish a third stake on Tarawa Atoll. Significant progress has been noted on North Tarawa Atoll and this progress has played a vital role in the establishment of the new district.
The Church in Kiribati has good promise for a temple one day to service the Micronesian subregion of Oceania. Church-reported membership accounts for approximately 16% of the national population - a remarkable feat since no LDS presence operated on the islands prior to 1975. The most rapid growth in Kiribati within the past decade has occurred on remote Kiritmati (Christmas) Island where a district was established in 2014. The Marshall Islands Majuro Mission, organized in 2006, has aggressively opened several previously unreached islands in Kiribati during the past five years. Some islands have had as many as three member groups established such as Nonouti Island. However, the Church in Kiribati experiences one of the lowest member activity rates in Oceania. The average ward or branch has 646 members on its rolls - significantly more than the approximately 50-150 active members in most congregations.
The Church recently discontinued the Barrancabermeja Colombia District. All three branches in the former district have been reassigned to the Colombia Bogota North Mission. The district was likely discontinued due to no realistic prospects for the district to organize additional branches and become a stake within the foreseeable future. A shortage of local leadership manpower may have also influenced this decision.