Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Districts Likely to Become Stakes in the Near Future

Many of the Church's new stakes are organized from districts. Districts are administrative organizations that services two or more branches. Districts have limited autonomy and are closely supervised by the mission president who acts in many ways as the stake president. For more information about districts, please see cumorah.com's Missiology Encyclopedia on districts.

Below are a list of districts that appear likely to become stakes within the near future. Predicting which districts are likely to become stakes is challenging as there are many criteria that must be met which are not reported to the public such as the number of active, full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders, the number of active members, and the number of branches that meet the criteria to become wards. Consequently, I have developed a three-tiered system to help more accurately predict which districts may become stakes. This system ranks the district from one to three (1=highly likely, 2=very likely, 3 somewhat likely) based on the likelihood of whether the district will soon become a stake. Information I have gathered to generate this list has come from studying congregational growth trends, obtaining reports from members and missionaries, and analyzing LDS growth trends in surrounding stakes and districts.

The previous list from late 2014 can be found here.

AFRICA

  • Abomosu Ghana (7 branches) - 1
  • Akamkpa Nigeria (7 branches) - 3
  • Antsirabe Madagascar (8 branches) - 2
  • Asaba Nigeria (7 branches) - 3 
  • Bo Sierra Leone East (7 branches) - 3
  • Bo Sierra Leone West (8 branches) - 3
  • Chyulu Kenya (10 branches) - 3
  • Daloa Cote d'Ivoire (8 branches)
  • Ekpoma Nigeria (10 branches) - 1
  • Eldoret Kenya (9 branches) - 3 
  • Ijebu-Ode Nigeria (8 branches) - 3
  • Ikot Ekpene Nigeria (7 branches) - 2
  • Ile-Ife Nigeria (11 branches) - 1
  • Kissy Sierra Leone (9 branches - 1
  • Koforidua Ghana (9 branches) - 2
  • Kolwezi Democratic Republic of Congo  (7 branches) - 3
  • Likasi Democratic Republic of Congo (10 branches) - 1
  • Luanda Angola (8 branches) - 2
  • Mbuji-Mayi Democratic Republic of Congo (8 branches) - 1 
  • Monrovia Liberia (6 branches) - 2
  • Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island (9 branches) - 2
  • Mutare Zimbabwe (6 branches) - 3
  • Newcastle South Africa (7 branches) - 3
  • Okpuala Ngwa Nigeria (8 branches) - 3
  • Onitsha Nigeria (11 branches) - 1
  • Paynesville Liberia (6 branches) - 2
  • San Pedro Cote d'Ivoire (7 branches) - 3
  • Toamasina Madagascar (5 branches) - 3
  • Twifo Praso Ghana (7 branches) - 2
  • Vaal South Africa (6 branches) - 3
  • Yaounde Cameroon (7 branches) - 3
ASIA
  • Agoo Philippines (7 branches) - 2
  • Aguilar Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Alaminos Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Baliwag Philippines (5 branches) - 3
  • Bambang Philippines (6 branches) - 3 
  • Bogo Philippines (6 branches) - 3 
  • Burgos Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Camiling Philippines West (6 branches) - 3
  • Cauayan Philippines (7 branches) - 1
  • Chia Yi Taiwan (6 branches) - 1
  • Gingoog Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Guimba Philippines (6 branches) - 2
  • Iba Philippines (8 branches) - 2
  • Iriga Philippines (6 branches) - 2
  • Kuala Lumpur Malaysia (7 branches) - 2 
  • La Carlota Philippines (7 branches) - 1
  • Ligao Philippines (6 branches) - 2 
  • Mindoro Oriental Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Morong Rizal Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Naic Philippines (8 branches) - 1
  • New Delhi India (7 branches) - 3
  • Olongapo Philippines (7 branches) - 1 
  • Pamplona Philippines (7 branches) - 3
  • Panabo Philippines (5 branches) - 3
  • Phnom Penh Cambodia East (5 branches) - 3 
  • Placer Philippines (8 branches) - 3 
  • Rajahmundry India (5 branches) - 3
  • Roxas Philippines Isabela (6 branches) - 3
  • San Antonio Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • San Carlos Philippines (7 branches) - 3
  • San Jose Mindoro Philippines Occidental (6 branches) - 3
  • Santa Cruz Zambales Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Solano Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Surigao Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Tagum Philippines (6 branches) - 3
  • Toledo Philippines (8 branches) - 3
  • Tolosa Philippines (10 branches) - 2
  • Udorn Thailand  (8 branches) - 1
  • Ulaanbaatar Mongolia East (5 branches) - 2
CARIBBEAN
  • Azua Dominican Republic (6 branches) - 3
  • Barahona Dominican Republic  (7 branches) - 3
  • Mandeville Jamaica (5 branches) - 3
  • San Pedro Dominican Republic (8 branches) - 3 
CENTRAL AMERICA
  • Cayo Belize (7 branches) - 2
  • Granada, Nicaragua (5 branches) - 3
  • Los Tuxtla México (9 branches) -2
  • Manzanillo México (7 branches) - 3
  • Puerto Cabezas Nicaragua (5 branches) - 3
  • Santa Lucia Cotzumalguapa Guatemala (9 branches) - 3
  • Senahu Guatemala (8 branches) - 2
  • Solola Guatemala (7 branches) - 2
  • Tamaulipas México Río Bravo (5 branches) - 3
  • Ticul México (8 branches) - 3
EUROPE
  • Algarve Portugal  (7 branches) - 3
  • Novosibirsk Russia (9 branches) - 2 
  • León Spain (7 branches) - 3
  • Santiago Spain (8 branches) - 3
NORTH AMERICA
  • Laredo Texas (7 branches) - 2
  • Traverse City Michigan (7 branches) - 3
OCEANIA
  • Kwajalein Marshall Islands (5 branches) - 3
  • Namoneas Chuuk (9 branches) - 2
  • Taveuni  Fiji (12 branches) - 3
  • Townsville Australia (6 branches) - 3
SOUTH AMERICA
  • Alto Hospicio Chile (6 branches) - 3
  • Apucarana Brazil (5 branches) - 3 
  • Armenia Colombia (6 branches) - 3
  • Boa Vista Brazil (5 branches) - 2
  • Botucatu Brazil  (6 branches) - 3
  • Concepción Argentina (6 branches) - 3
  • Coronel Oviedo Paraguay (8 branches) - 2
  • Corrientes Argentina (6 branches) - 3
  • Florida Uruguay (6 branches) - 3
  • Guadalupe Perú La Libertad (6 branches) - 3
  • Ibague Colombia (7 branches) - 2
  • Juazeiro Brazil (5 branches) - 2
  • Loja Ecuador (6 branches) - 3
  • Manizales Colombia (5 branches) - 3
  • Necochea Argentina (7 branches) - 3
  • Ovalle Chile (7 branches) - 3 
  • Paita Perú (5 branches) - 3
  • Palmira Colombia (7 branches) - 3
  • Popayan Colombia (5 branches) - 3
  • Rio Paraná Argentina (6 branches) - 3
  • Santa Marta Colombia (8 branches) - 2
  • Santa Rosa Ecuador (7 branches) - 2
  • Talara Perú (5 branches) - 3
  • Tarapoto Perú (5 branches) - 3
  • Tarma Perú (7 branches) - 3
  • Três Corações Brazil (8 branches) - 2
  • Tulua Colombia (6 branches) - 3
  • Virú Perú (5 branches) -3

67 comments:

illipn said...

I'm curious why the New Delhi district has been left off the list. With 7 branches and strong priesthood representation, I would think it would be a stake in the near future.

Matt said...

You're right - I should have included this district. I have added it to the list along with the Rajahmundry India District. The Rajahmundry India District is likely to have a sixth branch organized in Kakinada. Missionaries serving in India report that it is closest to become a stake among districts in India.

Josh said...

The Wangaratta district would be the closest district in Australia nearing the criteria for advancement to stake. On many measures it does including total membership.

Matt said...

Good news, Josh! Are any of the branches though close to becoming wards? Otherwise, the formation of a stake seems unlikely any time in the near future.

Josh said...

3 comfortably do. 2 more are flirting with it. Put it this way, while the district has priesthood issues, it is definitely on the radar for advancement.

David Todd said...

The Traverse City District in Michigan has made solid improvement over the last two years. With the acquisition of an 8th branch in Houghton Lake last year, I see the formation of a stake much more likely.

David Todd said...
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Michael Worley said...

I'm wondering if Pakistan should be on the list. I've certainly heard unconfirmed rumors of a stake there soon.

Matt said...

I have heard the same thing about Pakistan. However only the Lahore Pakistan District has enough congregations to become a stake and at least one of the five branches is too small to become a ward. So I am a bit skeptical a stake will be organized in Pakistan within the near future.

Iris and Craig said...

None for my Mexico...how sad...:( lol

Ryan Searcy said...

There are 4 Mexican districts on the list under Central America

Mike Johnson said...

Looking at the Traverse City Michigan District and the end of 2010 data from the Church published in ARDA, I see:

District 3746 Veterans Dr, Traverse City, Michigan 8 congregations in 2010 and 2,036 members.

Traverse City Branch; 3746 Veterans Drive TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN Grand Traverse County 1 congregation; 639 members
Cadillac Branch; 8389 South 39 Mile Road CADILLAC, MICHIGAN Wexford County; 1 congregation; 293 members
Petoskey Branch; 707 Alcan Drive PETOSKEY, MICHIGAN Emmet County; 1 congregation; 289 members
Gaylord Branch; 600 North Elm Avenue GAYLORD, MICHIGAN; Otsego County; 1 congregation; 223 members
Sault Ste Marie 2nd Branch; 125 Arlington Stes A-M SAULT SAINTE MARIE; MICHIGAN Chippewa County; 1 congregation; 164 members
Alpena Branch; 411 Long Rapids Plaza ALPENA, MICHIGAN; Alpena County; 1 congregation; 162 members
Kalkaska Branch; 1128 North Cedar Street KALKASKA, MICHIGAN; Kalkaska County 1 congregation; 159 members
Houghton Lake Branch; 5743 Houghton Lake Drive HOUGHTON LAKE, MICHIGAN; Roscommon County; 1 congregation; 107 members.

Is there any reason these 8 branches would have added 50% in members?
Cadillac and Petoskey were in 2010 close to ward size (assuming they have the required 15 AFTPMPHs) and Traverse City, in theory could be split into two wards (again with enough active full-tithe-paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders).

Iris and Craig said...

Ah! You're right @Ryan Searcy, lol. I wish Mexico City was doing better.

Bryan Dorman said...

Hate to break it to you but CD MX hasn't had much progress lately on any front. Puebla is hit or miss. Guadalajara and Monterrey are both stagnant. Queretaro, Hidalgo, and Veracruz are doing nicely though.

Aragon has no temple workers despite the fact that the temple is in Aragon. Until there is more temple activity in MX there will be no temples called in that region. Because if you remove all the Arco Norte areas (qro, hgo, pue, tlax) there is no temple attendance

David Todd said...

Mike, that information about the Traverse City District is interesting. It is a strange area, because some of the cities have a large portion of people who only come for half the year and spend the other half of the year in a warmer climate. I have heard that the Petoskey Branch averages almost 200 members at church for 6 months of the year, but only about 100 for the other half. It is likely that many of the transient members are not counted on the roles for these branches. Kalkaska, Gaylord, and Traverse City are the same way, and to a lesser extent the other branches, too. Kalkaska's low number surprises me the most because I hear that they average around 100 members at church year round and have a large number of AFTPMPHs.

Another thing to consider is that a large number of people (like up to half of the members in Michigan) moved away when the economy crashed because it was devastating to the manufacturing economy of the state. The economy is beginning to improve and families are starting to move back, which may mean that there has been significant growth over the last 5 years.

I served in the Alpena Branch on my mission in 2013, and at the time, there were only about 7 or 8 AFTPMPHs in the branch (they had to call a senior couple to come be the Branch President and Relief Society President for them). Since then, several families have moved in and there have been several baptisms of eligible men. I understand that there are now between 15 and 20 MPHs and they have their own Branch Presidency. They also started a member group up in Cheboygan/Rogers City.

While I don't see the district becoming a stake in the immediate future, I think it is on its way there and making some good progress. Maybe in 5 years time it might be a reality.

Mike Johnson said...

David good point. The data is from December 2010. So, this probably doesn't include snow birds.

And things could have changed a lot since 2010--more than 5 years ago. I wish we had more frequent updates from ARDA. Each branch could have significant net changes from move-ins/outs, births/deaths, baptisms/excommunications/resignations. The more we move away from 2010, the less the data in ARDA is relevant.

ARDA reports by county--the number of congregations in the county and the number of members (adherents) in those congregations. In this case there was one congregation in each of the 8 counties so each reflects the membership in each branch.

Was there ever two Traverse City branches? That is pretty high membership for a branch.

David Todd said...

I can't remember if there were two Traverse City Branches ever, but I do know that the Kalkaska branch split off from it because it had gotten too large back some 15 years ago or so. It is definitely a large branch, though. Before Traverse City become its own district, it was a part of the Midland Michigan Stake, and I think it may have even been a ward at the time.

David Todd said...

I just remembered that in 2010 there were some other branches in other counties operating within the Traverse City District that have been discontinued since then.

According to ARDA:
There was 1 congregation in Manistee County with 106 members which has since been combined with the Cadillac Branch.
There was also a congregation in Cheboygan County with 167 members which has since been split between the Petoskey, Gaylord, and Alpena Branches with most going to Gaylord (although there is a member group there again).

This helps to account for some of the discrepancies and why Gaylord, Petoskey, and Cadillac seemed so low in membership.

Also, it appears that there was a branch in Benzie County in 2000 that combined with the Traverse City Branch before 2010.

Pascal Friedmann said...

A little off topic, but here is an article about Iranians joining the Church in Germany in significant numbers: http://frankfurtmission.com/news/2016/2/4/prime-time-for-persia

I just received an announcement that there will be another Iranian couple baptized in Bonn this coming weekend, bringing the (hand-tallied) number of Iranians baptized since December in the Bonn Ward to at least 11. The total number of converts baptized will be at least 17 for this five month time frame. Thus, around 2/3 of recent converts are Iranian. Farsi was also one of the four languages in the Bonn Ward that had a General Conference broadcast this past weekend (German, English and Spanish being the other ones).

John Pack Lambert said...

One issue not brought up in the linked article is that some districts do not become stakes because large numbers of members move out of the area. Net population decline was on factor that made prospects of the Detroit District ever becoming a stake fairly low.

John Pack Lambert said...

At one point there were two Traverse City Branches. I do not know why they were combined. Some of our members here in Metro Detroit are as likely to be up north hunting or snow mobiling in the winter months as they are to be up there during the summer. A net loss of half the members is an exageration at least here in Metro Detroit. My stake only lost one ward and it was a ward that was never very solid. The stake to our north lost 2 wards and two branches but it was a lot more relocated Utahns with no local roots than our stake. The stake to our west lost a ward and a branch. The branch in large part because you can only have the same branch president for so long combined with so many people moving from Detroit to Southf8eldm The loss of the ward was probably partly fueled by so many job reductions especially sine such high percentages of active members in some of those wards worked at Ford's corporate headquarters. However one of the wards that benefitted from the other ward's elimination had been thin since 2007 if not earlier and another had had a bishop who had alienated some people in some way. However I think Westla d Stake also suffered from a population shift from their boundaries to the Ann Arbor boundaries. Our stake has seen a shift of population northward into Grand Blanc Stake. However my ward going further north has not suffered as much as the Troy Ward to our west.

OC Surfer said...

Westwood 1st Ward, Los Angeles CA Stake, has a large Farsi speaking (Persian) group with a separate Farsi speaking Sunday School Class and other activities. It wouldn't surprise me sooner than later, they become a separate Farsi Branch.

Other Southern California stakes also are looking into having their own Farsi speaking Sunday School Classes as well.

Alex Compton said...

Was hoping to see more than 1 Malaysian district on here, probably Kuching. When I served in Malaysia, they were thinking a stake was about 2 (optimistic) to 4 (more realistic) years away. But it's coming up on 6 years since then. Can't say I've kept in touch with leadership there, but growth must have really come to a halt in the last half decade. In my two years there, there were something like 10-12 branches created in the country.

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Porter said...

When I was living in the Republic of Georgia, almost all of the converts into the Tbilisi branch were from Iran.

Joshua Pettus said...

Laredo is moving closer to a stake nicely. We're lacking a couple dozen Melchizedek Priesthood holders, and we'll be within our goals.

They recently formed an 8th branch in our district in Zapata, TX, with attendance fluctuating between 30 and 50. We currently have a senior missionary placed there as branch president.

Dave said...

According to this list, there are 32 districts somewhat to very close to becoming stakes in The Philippines.

That's simply incredible!

Richard Lionheart said...

In Arizona, a new stake will be created from the Greenfield/San Tan/Higley/Williams Field Stakes on April 17, 2016, by Elder Robert Gay.

Tyler Sorensen said...

You left Bucharest Romania off the list.. It's had the leadership and #s since 2006-2007 only thing holding it back is activity rates which affects MP holders and Tithing #'s. With a good year of retention and baptisms you could have a stake

Iris and Craig said...
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Eduardo Clinch said...

Elder Holland spent 2 years in Chile "fusing" stakes that were created based on great numbers but many of them were in reality weaker than many districts. The stake I have lived in the most, Angol in the 9th region, is probably as strong as many LDS districts, but hopefully more robust than it was when I was last there in 2005. Chile had 100 stakes, which was historical for the Church, but unfortunately had to retract. Some of those lessons may be being applied in Africa and elswhere.

Downtownchrisbrown said...

The Barahona district lost a branch, as reported by LDSChurchtemples, leaving it with only 6 branches. It looks like it is even less likely to become a Stake now.

Ryan Searcy said...

A possible alternate, is that the branch was too small to be ward size, and discontinuing it gave neighboring branches an increased possibility of becoming a ward. I recall that there was a branch discontinued in the Olavarria Argentina District just before it became a stake.

Matt said...

Yes, I understand that the Bucharest Romania District has been close to meeting the requirements to become a stake within the past few years. However, growth has been stagnant during this time and it appears unlikely that the district will reach the remaining criteria to become a stake in regard to active, full-tithe paying Melchizedek Priesthood holders within the foreseeable future.

However, it is very difficult to predict which districts become stakes. Some districts that have become stakes have totally surprised me, such as in Carigata and Sagay in the Philippines. Other districts seem like they should have become stakes a long time ago, such as the Onitsha Nigeria District, the Santa Lucía Cotzumalguapa Guatemala District, and the Likasi Democratic Republic of the Congo District.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think we need to move from counting retention as at all a responsibility of missionaries and making it much more clearly the responsibility of members. There has been progress to integrating missionary work into the structure of the ward, but I think there is more that could be done.

John Pack Lambert said...

In my experience much of the growth in active attendance in the Church is not observed in numbers of baptisms, number of new branches or similar statistics. I know lots of people who were inactive members 3 years ago and today are active, endowed, temple reccomend holders. Their move from one to the other does not show up in any statistical report. In a similar way a branch that goes from 30 attending regularly to 60 attending regularly is still in many places not likely to be made a ward, and under most circumstances not going to be split, but it will still represent twice as many members.

John Pack Lambert said...

There are days when I wonder if the 19th-century policies of the LDS Church that lead to much faster removal of people who stopped participating in the Church were not better. On the other hand I have seen faithful hometeachers bring back to the fold people who had been inactive for a decade or more, so there are pluses to keeping people on membership records. On the other extreme, in the Belle Isle Branch in Detroit I know of people who showed up to do home teaching and found that the address they had not only was no longer the residence of the person who they were looking for, but that it no longer existed at all, the house having been razed.

James Anderson said...

It's hard to track retention on a general level, but on a local level you have the key indicators for those who have access to LCR. Those include numbers associated with convert baptisms that may have happened, a count of those with a current temple recommend, those attending sacrament meetings (those two don't always match, especially in a ward like mine where there are a fair number of seniors who for health reasons can't attend but are considered active otherwise, and several other things found on the quarterly report.

L. Chris Jones said...

Matt, With addiontal countries getting second or more temples. What do you think of Bolivia getting a second or third temple announced soon? Maybe LaPaz or Santa Cruz or even both. It is soon approaching the number of units as Ecuador and Columbia and has a smaller temple.

Steven Kent said...

I suspect that Bolivia, along with Nigeria, New Zealand, and Venezuela will all have second temples announced in the next five years. They all have about the same number of stakes (or more) as Colombia and more than South Africa, both of which now have second temples under construction. As a former missionary in LaPaz, I'm rooting for the second Bolivian temple to be there, but Santa Cruz is probably equally deserving. Ultimately, they will both have temples, I think, but a third Bolivian temple is still a long ways off.

Dave said...

Instead of putting a second temple in places like Bolivia and Venezuela, wouldn't it make more sense to announce new temples in places where the church is growing? Certainly that would indicate one in Benin City in Nigeria, e.g., or maybe Brasilia.

This isn't a knock on the saints in Bolivia and Venezuela. It's more a recognition of the very finite resources available to the church.

Steven Kent said...

I completely agree about building temples in growing areas of the Church. But it's still quite difficult for members in many parts of countries like Bolivia and Venezuela to attend the temple with any degree of regularity. For many, it's still a once-in-a-lifetime trip. There are already temples in Nigeria and Brazil, but almost certainly those Benin City and Brasilia will receive a temple in the near future as well. And there will be more temples in Utah, even though it can hardly be said that a temple trip is a hardship for anyone there.

The bottom line is that the Church will probably find a way to build a temple anywhere they feel it will be consistently used.

Michael Worley said...

Off topic: Provo (servicing BYU) now has 2 (not 1) Asian YSA wards

John Pack Lambert said...

To be fair the temples in South Africa will include members in at least 6 other contries while all countries that neighbor Bolivia have at least one. The tempke in Venezuela might be the closest for members in the Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago Stake but that is the only stake outside Venezuela that might be so assigned. That said the point at which oeople are baptized and at which they go to the temple are not always as close as we would like. My girlfriend was baptized in 1994 at age 14 but didn't even do baptisms for the dead until 2015 and got endowed just a few months later. So the facts of temple attendance are complex. Many of the small temples built in 1998-2002 were in places where the Church was not growing. In fact both the Monticello Utah Temple and the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple have only had a stake discontinued and no new ones created since they were formed in their assigned areas. Yet I do not think anyone questions the wisdom of building either of those temples.

Lastly especially after having to close the Aba Nigeria Tempke for a short time when all foriegn temple missionaries were withdrawn I think the leaders of the Church now generally want to have temples where the temple district can provide the entire presidency and entire staff if needed. This means in general a large njmber of people who have been members several years and a few who have been members decades. Zimbabwe is second only to South Africa among countries in Africa for how long the Church has been there, even if in the early 1980s the membership there was almost completely white while today it is overwhelmingly Ethnic Africans although maybe not as much as Zimbabwe overall. Did Benin City or Lagos get a stake first? Although I am guessing the desire to staff temples locally is mainly from within that country if possible. So as long as Nigeria overall can staff a second temple on its own I am not sure staffing will be a big answer. Either way I think Lagos and Benin City will both have temples announced before either is completed.

John Pack Lambert said...

When people speak of those with current temple recomends do they mean just full use recomends or are limited use recomends included. If only the former than I was in one ward which had virtually 100% attendance and yet almost no holders of full temple recomends. That was the ward I was in my freshman year at BYU. My guess is that fewer wards are in the situation that one was now than at the close of last century due to the missionary age change. Another example is that 3 of the 5 people baptized in my ward last November will not have full temple recomends any earlier than about June 2021. Actually only two of them could have them that soon. This is because these are twin brothers who are 13 and their sister who is 9. The other two people baptized that month are unrelated. However the twins come out almost every Sunday, pass the sacrament roughly as much as the other 8 deacons in the ward and have done baptisms for the dead. I know the last because I was in the confirmation circle when they did so. For what it is worth they are by far the most active African-American members of our ward since the Sister whose Mom was a german national who spoke no English and whose Dad was an African-American man who spoke no German moved out of our ward. That sister didn't know English until she came to the USA at age 10. She fully identified as German but also fully identified as African-American. There is also the two-year old girl who is biogically a fourth African-American who was adopted by a white family at birth but to make things more compjex probably people more often think the adopted three year old boy is African American but actually his biological father is Arabic.

John Pack Lambert said...

When people speak of those with current temple recomends do they mean just full use recomends or are limited use recomends included. If only the former than I was in one ward which had virtually 100% attendance and yet almost no holders of full temple recomends. That was the ward I was in my freshman year at BYU. My guess is that fewer wards are in the situation that one was now than at the close of last century due to the missionary age change. Another example is that 3 of the 5 people baptized in my ward last November will not have full temple recomends any earlier than about June 2021. Actually only two of them could have them that soon. This is because these are twin brothers who are 13 and their sister who is 9. The other two people baptized that month are unrelated. However the twins come out almost every Sunday, pass the sacrament roughly as much as the other 8 deacons in the ward and have done baptisms for the dead. I know the last because I was in the confirmation circle when they did so. For what it is worth they are by far the most active African-American members of our ward since the Sister whose Mom was a german national who spoke no English and whose Dad was an African-American man who spoke no German moved out of our ward. That sister didn't know English until she came to the USA at age 10. She fully identified as German but also fully identified as African-American. There is also the two-year old girl who is biogically a fourth African-American who was adopted by a white family at birth but to make things more compjex probably people more often think the adopted three year old boy is African American but actually his biological father is Arabic.

Christopher Nicholson said...

What is an "Asian" ward for? Asian isn't a language so why would members be segregated based on their continent of origin?

James Anderson said...

I think they are primarily doing the wards by language, and the stake covers several languages. I know there's a Chinese ward meeting on 7th North in Provo just south of BYU Campus and has for decades.

James Anderson said...

The Provo City Center Temple has been running full sessions even during the midday. Got out of one that started at 11am, and just about every seat in the lower room was full, the upper one has a few extra seats. I've seen large wedding parties outside on the first full Saturday they began operating a full schedule, and there's often congestion downstairs on account of all the people coming and going from the temple, people readying for a session and people getting done with one, or there for other work as well.

Heard they were still short 150 workers of having a full complement. They took the first few weeks just to get it all up and running.

David Todd said...

I have a roommate that was just baptized 3 weeks ago in the Provo YSA Asian ward. I did not know until reading here that the ward had split, oddly enough, but I do know a bit more about the ward itself. There are YSA wards in provo for most of the foreign languages as is, but the asian ward tends to be foreign students who are all in school together. Most of them attend BYU's English Learning Center, so even though they speak different languages, they all see each other in classes all the time. Also, in addition to having classes in Korean, Chinese,Japanese...etc. They also try to integrate English in to their meetings. I've never been, but my three roommates who speak Korean all enjoy it.

Bryce said...

I noticed the three Liberian districts were ranked as 2; I was thinking these used to be ranked as 1 so curious about the downgrade. Also I was thinking there was some enthusiasm for the Czech Republic last year but it's not on the list... maybe same situation as Romania. In past years Belize and Guyana made lists but I think they've drifted to medium to long term stake prospects, hope to see their situations improve someday.

Bryce said...
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Bryce said...

Thanks Pascal for that interesting link detailing baptisms of Iranians in Germany. Porter's comment about Iranian baptisms in Georgia was interesting as well. I recall that some success among Iranians was reported in Turkey previously so definitely makes me curious about any kind of trend.
Speaking of Turkey, I read that the U.S. Embassy warned Americans of a high-level, imminent threat of attacks in Turkey last Saturday. Not sure how dire it was, hopefully that has little or no impact on the Eurasian mission.

Michael Worley said...

My colleague Elena Nechiporova is director of public affairs in Eastern Europe. Her area of responsibility takes in part of two continents, spanning territory from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Kazakhstan, a country of 17 million people, is just one of the nations she serves, and I use it as an example. Most Kazakhs are Muslim, and so careful attention and respect must be paid to culture, faith, government, values, national priorities. We found that by focusing on the shared value of family, we can successfully navigate those boundaries. Today we can operate freely in Kazakhstan and we’ve received permission to build a chapel. We could relate parallel experiences across her area.
-- Michael Otterson

Bryce said...

Michael I was literally just reading that article you quoted :) Bro. Otterson mentions the chapel in Kazakhstan in his remarks titled "Understanding Church Boundaries: How Big Is the Tent?" posted on the Church newsroom site. Very good read, here's the link for those interested: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/transcript-michael-otterson-uvu-academic-conference

John Pack Lambert said...

Provo also has units that cover Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Chinese as well as Samoan and Tongan. However only a Tongan Ward is YSA although the Chinese Ward has lots of students as do some others.

John Pack Lambert said...

The earliest converts in Kazakstan were almost entirely ethnic Russians who had Christian backgrounds if they had any religious background at all. There has been large scale exodus of ethnic Russians from Kazakstan since 1990 although the Kazak government has sought to stem the tide. Kazakstan has significantly higher proportions of the population that do not identify in any way with Islam than other central Asian nations. Additionally ethnic Kazaks at one point were a minority and may have even been outnumbered by ethic Russian at one point.

John Pack Lambert said...

The earliest converts in Kazakstan were almost entirely ethnic Russians who had Christian backgrounds if they had any religious background at all. There has been large scale exodus of ethnic Russians from Kazakstan since 1990 although the Kazak government has sought to stem the tide. Kazakstan has significantly higher proportions of the population that do not identify in any way with Islam than other central Asian nations. Additionally ethnic Kazaks at one point were a minority and may have even been outnumbered by ethic Russian at one point.

John Pack Lambert said...

Provo also has units that cover Spanish, Korean, Japanese and Chinese as well as Samoan and Tongan. However only a Tongan Ward is YSA although the Chinese Ward has lots of students as do some others.

miro said...

I recently spoke to friend who returned from his mission in the Czech Republic. If a stake would be created, it would be from borth districts Pragh and Brno. Alone thery are not colse to become stakes. He said that they struggle to have 5 ward sized congregations and that was the reason the stake was not created last year.

Unknown said...

In NZ the Dunedin is going to be upgraded to a stake

Ray Felsted said...

The Dunedin District in New Zealand dates from 1892, so if it becomes a stake this year it will be 124 years after it was created! That is very good news.

John Pack Lambert said...

The information on the Dunedine District causes me to wonder what the oldest district in existence is.

Ray Felsted said...

I believe the Dunedin is the oldest district in existence. There is another New Zealand district, the Nelson New Zealand District, that dates from 1893. Of course these were originally designated conferences.

Matt said...

Unknown-

Could you provide confirmation on the Dunedin New Zealand District becoming a stake?

The Wangaratta Australia District was organized in 1890.I believe it is the oldest district.

Ryan Searcy said...

According to LDSChurchTemples, only 3 districts remain that were created in the 1800s.

Wangaratta Australia 1890
Dunedin New Zealand 1892
Nelson New Zealand 1893

Downtownchrisbrown said...

My sister lives in Dunedin. She confirmed to me that the stake will be created this Sunday.