Tuesday, July 25, 2017

New Stake in South Africa; New District in Nigeria

South Africa
The Church organized a new stake in Eastern Cape Province on July 9th. The Mdantsane South Africa Stake was organized from a division of the East London South Africa Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the East London 2nd, King Williams Town, Mdantsane 1st, Mdantsane 2nd, and Mdantsane 3rd Wards.

There are now 16 stakes and six districts in South Africa.

Nigeria
The Church organized a new district in central Nigeria on July 16th. The Otukpo Nigeria District was organized from the Otukpo Branch - a former mission branch in the Nigeria Enugu Mission. Two new branches were also created at the same time that the district was organized. Thus, the new district includes the following three branches: the Otukpo 1st, Otukpo 2nd, and Otukpo 3rd Branches. The Otukpo Nigeria District is the Church's first district to be organized in Benue State (population: 5.6 million). The Church created its first official branches in Benue State in late 2015. Today there are seven branches in Benue State - the homelands of the predominantly Christian Tiv people. Another district appears likely to be organized in the immediate future in Makurdi where there are now three branches that operate.

There are now 43 stakes and 16 districts in Nigeria. Thus far in 2017, there has been a net increase of 54 wards and branches. There have been 54 new wards and branches created, and no wards or branches discontinued. This represents the largest increase in the number of wards of branches of any country thus far in 2017, and the largest increase in the number of wards and branches for any country outside of the United States since the Church reported rapid congregational growth rates in the Philippines and certain Latin American countries during the late 1990s. However, the Church in Nigeria significantly differs from the Church in Latin America and the Philippines during the late 1990s as no North American or European missionaries serve in Nigerian missions. Also, member activity and convert retention rates in Nigeria number among the highest in the world among countries with more than 100,000 members at approximately 40-50%.

35 comments:

L. Chris Jones said...

Amazing growth in Nigeria. I hope to see one or more new temples announced in that country soon. The Aba Temple probably needs an expansion.

John Pack Lambert said...

Aba is less than 20,000 square feet so it might have the most stakes per size.

James said...

Great to hear of these developments on the African continent. Hearing of this serves to confirm my thoughts that we could see several new African temples among the 85+ of which Elder Wilson has spoken. I don't know if the Aba temple will be expanded at some point or not. Based on what I have learned about temples lately, it may make more sense for the Church to build new temples rather than expand existing ones, as there may or may not be room for such expansions on certain temples. For Nigeria, it wouldn't surprise me to see 2 new temples in rising in the near future in Port Harcourt and Lagos. Of the two possibilities, the research I have been able to do points to Lagos as being the most likely city for Nigeria's second temple. Of course, that's just my own thoughts and feeelings, for what they are worth.

John Pack Lambert said...

One thinking with Aba Temple is that the Church is growing and expanding in several places within 50 miles of Aba. There is clear a need for twmples elsewhere in Nigeria but it is not clear they will releave pressures on the Aba Temple.

At the same time events in Manilla and Lima show that building close temples is possible. So maybe Port Harcourt, Nigeria will get a temple. Most likely it will be the 4th or later temple in Nigeria.

James said...

Hey, John! Thanks for those insights about Nigeria. I crunched some numbers, and here's what I found out:

The distance from Aba to Port Harcourt is 39.1 miles. The distance between Aba and Lagos is 373.1 miles, and the distance between Port Harcort and Lagos is 383 miles exactly. So it might be a while before Port Harcort gets a temple, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if Lagos was the city for the next Nigerian temple, and there is a real possibility that one for Lagos is among the 85+ that could be announced within the next 15 years. Time will tell.

In terms of temples within close proximity, the two Lima Peru temples are going to be roughly 43.46 miles apart. And the two Manila temples will be roughly 20.8 miles apart. With that in mind, I see the reasons for announcing second temples for those cities. Hope that information is helpful to all who read this comment. Thanks to you all for this interesting discussion.

Unknown said...

I'm starting to sense a new stake will be organized in the OKC area soon. The OKC and Stillwater stakes both have 11 full wards and at least 3 branches each.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Cool about Oklahoma City. Sounds like how I was seeing it between Fredericksburg and Ashburn stakes in Virginia. Way too many units not to split.
The non-Western missionaries in much of Africa is an interesting phenomenon. There are so many ethnicities and languages in places like Cote d'Ivoire or Nigeria that an elder called a mere hundred miles away will learn new languages and customs, much like a US missionary must do in Guatemala or Brazil. I was thrilled to see non-Chilean Latinos in the Concepcion South Mission in 2005; or interview the Mexican-American older sister who would serve in Chile sent from California. The nature of mission calls inspired of God really bring people into new circles of knowledge and influence.
And it seems to be very effective in west and central Africa.

Pascal Friedmann said...

I just heard of a non-African background Elder from Utah who got called to Cote d'Ivoire recently. I wonder if this is a policy change, or if this Elder may end up being assigned only to a neighboring county (i.e., Mali).

Matt said...

Pascal,

Do you have more information about this? This would be a major development because last time we had North America missionaries assigned to Cote d'Ivoire was in 2010 or 2011.

james anderson said...

Can't remember where I saw it but there is a picture floating around, possibly of this person, with Ivorean elders there and this also was within the last week, I think it was Mali and one of the stories about that

Bryan Dorman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan Dorman said...

Probably he will be sent to labor in Mali or Senegal. Probably the latter as Senegal is more stable than Mali or CIV.

Pascal Friedmann said...

I have the name of the Elder (not sure if it's necessarily a great idea to share it here), and I know it is the Abidjan West Mission. Also, he left earlier this month. I know the family (they used to be in my stake), but not very well. I do not know the Elder himself. It just surprised me when I heard on Facebook that he would go to that mission as a Caucasian American. Consequently, I imagined he would only work in one of the other countries assigned to his mission. Unless we hear more of the same or an official announcement about CIV, I figure this is the most plausible explanation.

L. Chris Jones said...

I hope we get missionaries in Cuba soon. Maybe from other Latin American countries or Spain.

R. Jofre said...

Cuba would probably accept missionaries from any american country except the U.S.

Matt said...

Imagine that Senegal is the most likely destination for that North American missionary assigned to the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan West Mission.

New stake in Honduras: Potrerillos Honduras Stake

Organized last Sunday with five wards.

Matt said...

No young proselytizing missionaries have ever served in Senegal so this would be a big deal. Also Senegal is the only other country assigned to the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission. Mali is assigned to the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission.

Michael Worley said...

Why are we sure it isn't Cote D'Ivoire?

James said...

FWIW (speaking of missionary visas), I know the senior senator from Utah (Orrin Hatch) was reportedly working in March of this year on legislation that would speed up the visa process for LDS missionaries and those of other faiths that are called to serve internationally. A link to the relevant story follows. Enjoy!

http://www.ldsliving.com/Sen-Orrin-Hatch-Proposes-Bill-to-Speed-Up-Missionary-Visa-Applications/s/83260

James said...

Old news, I know, but still significant. And I'm sure so many other people in US governments (and in other governments worldwide), are committed to crafting similar legislation. It is awesome to think of all of these wonderful things happening with the Church. Hopefully many more wonderful milestones are on the way. Whatever happens, I hope for my part that I will continue to be able to contribute in a positive way to discuss such developments. Thanks again to you all.

John Pack Lambert said...

Unless his oarents were Lezgins or Circassians you are perpetuating the discredited idea of pure and prototypical races by calling someone whose ancestry in from Europe after a mountain range on the border with Asia.

John Pack Lambert said...

This would help missionaries from outside the US come to the US more quickly. It would not directly impact those leaving the US for other countries but might lead to reciprocal good will.

James said...

Good observations, John! I didn't internalize that. Thanks for bringing those thoughts to my attention. Hopefully that does lead to reciprocal good will. And it was old news. I just remember how awesome it was to hear of that report. I will say this though, and hope I'm not being too political here: it strikes me that some LDS politicians sometimes have trouble striking the balance between their duty as Church members and their duty as governmental representatives. The current Senators representing Utah mostly do a good job of that, but I have seen times when striking that balance has been hard for them. I have to say, I respect any Church member who can handle that balance well. I would not be able to, I know that. Just wanted to note that, FWIW.

The Opinion said...

Does anyone subscribe to the Instagram account called missionaries coming soon? It has pictures of people and there mission calls. I have been surprised by how many more American males are being called to serve in Africa. Can't remember if West Africa was one of the mission that was included as Americans being called too.

The Opinion said...

Well I guess there are some called to West Africa. Here are all the Americans I found called to African missions

1 Bountiful, UT elder assigned to Abidjan, Ivory Coast reporting today July 27th to Ghana MTC

5 elders assigned to Accra, Ghana
2 elders assigned to Cotonou, Benin
An elder assigned to Monrovia, Liberia
5 elders being assigned to Freetown, Sierra Leone
An UT elder being assigned to Nairobi, Kenya.
An UT elder assigned to Cape Coast, Ghana.
An UT elder assigned to Kumasi, Ghana
4 elders assigned to Kampala, Uganda
An UT elder assigned to Harare, Zimbabwe
2 elders assigned to Luanda, Angola
An VA elder assigned to the Botswana/Nambia mission
4 elders assigned to Madagascar
2 elders assigned to Republic of Congo
2 elders and sister assigned to Maputo, Mozambique

John Pack Lambert said...

I know Ghana has had a sizeable number of missionaries from outside Africa for a long time. Besides from the US and Canada they,also have missionaries from Britain, Australia, Samoa, Tonga, the Philippines and probably a few other places. Botswana just started allowing in forign missionaries at all after having excluded them from 2013. Some countries like Ivory Coast and DR Congo have almost completely missionaries from that country. Nigeria has missionaries from Ghana and maybd some other countries in Africa but not from outside the continent as far as I know. Which explains its absence from the list despite having 6 missions, the most of any country in Africa.

John Pack Lambert said...

I went and looked at missionaries coming soon. I was surprised to see a white sister from the US called to Janaica. I know in Ghana and probably other places as well male missionaries from the US are sent there but not female missionaries. I found an elder from the Philippines going to Ghana. We are truly becoming an international church.

John Pack Lambert said...

The one that floored me the most was a sister from Brazil going to London Portuguese speaking. I had no idea there were many Portuguese speakers in England.

twinnumerouno said...

That is not too surprising- I have shocked a lot of people telling them that my mission was Spanish speaking in Canada (Montreal). My former stake president's daughter was disappointed to be sent to Japan since she spoke Portuguese- but as I recall ended up teaching someone from Brazil (or maybe Portugal).

Another point is that in addition to Portuguese and Brazilians, Portuguese-speaking would also serve immigrants from Angola, Mozambique, and Sao Tome & Principe, which were colonies of Portugal (there may be others I have forgotten).

Johnathan Whiting said...

My mission was Spanish speaking in Kentucky, and even that blows people's minds when I tell them. Spanish-speaking in Montreal doesn't surprise me, personally, as Quebec's neighboring province, Ontario, has what many consider to be the most diverse city in the world: http://www.blogto.com/city/2016/05/toronto_named_most_diverse_city_in_the_world/

Bryce .Gillespie said...

My Mission Montana Billings had half a dozen Spanish speaking missanrrays.
So I would think ever Mission would have defient speaking missanrrays.

John Pack Lambert said...

I have to admit I was a bit surprised to see Bismarck North Dakota Spanish speaking.

My mission just had English and Spanish assigned. However I have a frifnd who served in Boston where they have 5 language assigments.

Another I saw that surprised mdca little was Iowa Des Moines Marsgallese speaking. I think of most Marshalese as being in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but lots of them come to the US because they can do so with no restrictions so at times thinfs surprise me. Also some language assignments may just be additional langyage learning as a resource and not meant to be the whole use in the mission.

On another note there were missionaries here in the Detroit mission who undertook to learn Turkish to teach a family. In my first area in Las Vegas we could have used somecAmheric spwaking missionaries and some Bosnian speaking missionaries.

There are lots of Brazulians in Japan. Most of them are of primarily Japanese descent but they often do not speak any Japanese. When I was at BYU I knew two batives of Brazil of Japanese descent who had lived for a time in Japan.

Johnathan Whiting said...

John, we had a lot of Bosnians in Louisville, KY, as well. I enjoyed picking up a few words in their language.

Johnathan Whiting said...

It's good to hear that they're assigning Spanish-speaking missionaries to my home state!

James said...

That is awesome! I can only speak in terms of my six-year tenure as a temple worker, but as I may have mentioned previously, during that time, I became their go-to guy for languages. By the time my service ended, I had served patrons in 11 other languages (besides English). And in that light, I am sure you can appreciate that the most popular two languages with which I worked were Spanish and Portuguese. And even in that part of Utah County, the demand was great. Once I discontinued my service, fortunately there were others who could take over responsibility for at least those languages. My point is to note that such opportunities are more wide-spread than anyone might realize. It was a very rare week indeed for those six years if I did not receive someone in those languages. Just wanted to add that thought, for what it's worth.