Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Vijayawada, India Opens to Proselytism

Missionaries serving in the India Bangalore Mission report that the city of Vijayawada has opened to proselytism. Only a member group operates in Vijayawada although a branch once used to function in the city during the 1990s. Inhabited by approximately 1.5 million and located in Andhra Pradesh State, Vijayawada is the first city in India without an official ward or branch to have had full-time missionaries assigned in more than a decade. Initial proselytism efforts have been productive and there were 27 in attendance in the Vijayawada Group during a recent sacrament meeting service.

See below for a map of LDS congregations in India. Currently LDS congregations operate in cities and towns inhabited by approximately five percent of the national population.

14 comments:

James said...

Awesome news, Matt! Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing what happens with India going forward. This is a good sign. I hope for the best with India, including perhaps seeing a temple there within the next 15 years or less. If Elder Wilson's statement about 85 temples minimum during that time period is correct, I could see one or two for India being among that number.

In regards to temple developments, I have posted a lot about that on my own blog for any who may be interested. Check it out at the address below. In the meantime, thanks for this post, Matt!

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

John Pack Lambert said...

Right now there is a family from India in my home ward. With India being the number one fastest growing source of international students in the US and second only to China in total number of students with nearly 200,000 in the US there is much potential for missionary work.

On another note yet another new stake was formed in Honduras. I am begining to hope both Aan Pedro Sula and Managua will have temples announced at October conference but maybe I am too much an optimist.

James said...

I think both of them are possible among the 85+ slated for an announcement within the next 15 years, John. The question is, which of the two might be more likely? Managua has been on my list (and Matt's) for years. I know also that a temple for Managua was publicly proposed by then-Elder Nelson in 2012, and land has been held in reserve for that temple for years. The only thing I know about San Pedro Sula is that this was mentioned to me by several people as the most likely city for the second temple in Honduras. Both are on my short list for next general conference. Whether either or both will be announced during that time is up to the Lord. But I too am an optimist, and I think both might happen. At least, I haven't heard a sufficient argument that has convinced me to take either temple off this list since I added them. Time will tell. For now, you and I, as optimists, can hope on. In the meantime, if you wanted to continue the discussion of possible temple sites, you could check out the link below, which is my latest blog post on the subject. Matt will likely do another one of those himself closer to October. But with the knowledge that 85+ temples could be announced within the next 15 years, I knew I had to expand my list for next conference. The link follows. I welcome your thoughts, given on that topic's thread, or continuing here. Thanks, John, for your continuing inspirational comments. Hope you know how much at least this blogger appreciates your insights and ongoing willingness to share. If you choose to extend that to my blog, I would be honored to have your feedback. Hope you enjoy this post, John! Thanks again for all your great comments here.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2017/06/major-revision-of-my-list-of-possible.html

R. Jofre said...

I wonder if a temple in India would have some unique design, being a land of so many ancient buildings and statues. Of course that might make it a really expensive temple so perhaps not yet. Better to have several small functional temples than one big and magnificent.

In the case of Central America I also am an optimist. Temples there are extremely necessary. The poverty rates are very high, so traveling even 100 miles to a temple might be too expensive for most people, and road conditions are less than ok. This is true at least for Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Belize. San Pedro Sula, Managua, and a second Guatemala City temples seem the most likely to be announced soon. I also expect Santa Ana, northern Guatemala and southern Honduras to be announced in the next few years.

James said...

Interesting thoughts. Thanks. I can definitely see the benefits of temples in San Pedro Sula and Managua (though of the two, Managua may be the first to be announced; time will tell). And the precedent set of second temples in Lima Peru and Manila Philippines does open the likelihood that a second temple may be built in Guatemala City Guatemala. How imminently likely that might be remains to be seen. A second temple in El Salvador may not happen for a while. The last stake creation in that nation happened two months before the first temple was dedicated there. And since that time, there has only been the creation of a mission. So Santa Ana and another for northern Guatemala may not be among the 85+ that will be announced in the next 15 years. If a temple is built in San Pedro Sula, that may be enough temples for Honduras for at least a few years. That said, it looks as though Honduras has had 1 mission and 8 stakes created since the Tegucigalpa temple was dedicated. If that growth continues, you may have a point. As I have previously observed, everyone has different feelings about where temples might be built, and my own efforts to predict certain sites have had mixed reactions from those with whom I have shared them. I am grateful that the Lord knows where He needs temples and when. And for my part, I am equally as grateful for times when He has proven me wrong as I am for times when His thinking aligns with my reasoning. That's what makes it fun. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I hope Central America does get many more temples among the 85+ that will be announced within the next 15 years. Temples are dotting the earth in the Lord's way and time, and I am sure that will continue going forward. Thanks again.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Nearly six years ago I was talking to one of the many Indian students here at USU. Like most of them, she was not LDS, but she had known of the Church's existence from seeing the "South Park" episode about it while still in India. Just today, the implication finally hit me: it's entirely possible that "South Park" has done more to spread the gospel in India than the Church ever has.

John Pack Lambert said...

At my stake's pioneer day picnic last Saturday I met multiple people from India. I was torn between catching up with old friends and watching my fiancee's 4-year-old grandson (or should I call him my grandson?), so I didnt talk with the people from India enough to discern if they were members of the Church, meeting with missionaries or invited by friends. There are many natives of India in metro Detroit. A few run restaurants but a high percentage are involved either in engineering or medicine.

James said...

For what it's worth, even though there has not been either any new Church or temple news today, I still did two blog posts revisiting the list of temples I was considering in preparation for next General Conference and the other predictions I have put together for that conference (including the potential speaking order and the changes that are likely to occur in Church leadership.) You can catch up on all of that at the link below. Enjoy! I look forward to the discussion on this.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Eduardo Clinch said...

Limited missionary visas in big countries such as India and Russia are unfortunate, but many of us recall the days when neither were open. Now Cuba and more countries in Africa are opening, so elders and sisters are still approaching new cities and regions all the time. Vietnam is another huge growth nation; maybe Myanmar continues to expand. China will have its day too. And the Muslims will as well.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was just looking at the instagram account missionarries comiing soon. I came across a sister from Scotland called to serve a mission in India. However she doess appear to be of Indian descent.

David Todd said...

James, I'm pretty sure there was a stake created in El Salvador last month. I havent gone to look up the details, but if I remember correctly it was stake #20 and it was updated from a district. With that, there are no more districts in the country. So while it seems there were no new stakes since the temple, there were probably districts upgraded. Either way, I don't think it merits a second temple yet in El Salvador.

John Pack Lambert said...

A few more interesting observations from the instagram page. I came across a man from Nigeria called to serve in Congo. This was the only Nigerian I saw who had posted. So DR Congo has foriegn missionaries, but maybe all from in Africa. I also came across a few women from the US called to either Zambia or Zimbabwe. This surprised me.

John Pack Lambert said...

You are right about the stake upgrade in El Salvador in June. I am not sure there are even 20 atakes in the New England states and yet there are 2 temples there. Also Michigan and Ohio combined are not much above 20 stakes and yet there are 2 temples. Rhe New England case would need more analysis. However in Michigan and Ohio the temples are less than 11,000 square feet while the San Salvador temple is 20,000 square feet. That may not mean twice the endowment capacity though. Clearly 20 stakes can support 2 temples, in Canada there are only I believe 6 stakes east of Ontario, but it might just be 5, and 2 temples. However with the Aba Nigeria Temple at 1,070 square feet, the same size as the Detroit Temple, but serving 43 stakes and 16 districts and being the closest temple at present for the additional 2 districts in Cameroon, as opposed to Detroit having at most broad count 10 stakes and a disteict, but not all of 3 of those stakes, a second temple for El Salvador is not a high priority.

James said...

As far as El Salvador goes, a double-check on my part verified that it was the San Vicente El Salvador district that was upgraded to a stake. That happened on June 18. I agree that El Salvador may not get another temple in the near future: my research on the matter verified that.

That said, I have found several new candidates that could very well get a temple in the near future, and that new list has been put up on my blog. I welcome feedback on that list. In view of my desire to not clog up threads like this with comments on my work, I invite any who may want to to visit the link below to offer feedback on this new list. Enjoy!

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com/2017/07/temple-sites-added-to-my-list-for-near.html