Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Full-time Missionaries Assigned to Guinea, West Africa for the First Time

The Church recently assigned the first proselytizing missionaries to the West African country of Guinea. A single companionship of young, French-speaking Black African elders from the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission was assigned to serve in the Conakry Branch - the only branch in the entire country. Missionary activity at present appears primarily focused on teaching and mentoring new converts in the branch.

There have been several significant developments in Guinea. The Church organized the Conakry Branch in June 2017 shortly after Elder David A. Bednar visited Guinea in May 2017. The new branch was assigned to the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission although most of the country has remained assigned directly to the Africa West Area. Four members from the Conakry Branch in Guinea, West Africa began their missions at the Ghana Missionary Training Center (MTC) in April 2018 according to a news article from the Africa West Area lds.org page. These members previously served as the young men president, Sunday School first counselor, branch mission leader, and branch music director in the Conakry Branch before beginning full-time missionary service. Local members reported approximately 30 members in late 2017. The Church reported 56 members in Guinea as of April 2018.

Guinea is inhabited by nearly 12 million people. The population is 87% Muslim, 7% Christian, and 6% followers of other faiths. Other nontraditional Christian faiths such as Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh-Day Adventists have historically reported slow growth in Guinea, but in the past 2-3 years have reported rapid growth. French is the official language although most speak their official ethnic languages such as Fulani, Malinke, and Susu.


L. Chris Jones said...

Hope more companionships follow. I anticipate great things to happen in Guinea. I also can't wait for missionaries in Cuba. They could be from Spain, Canada, or a variety Latin American countries any country with diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Eduardo Clinch said...

This is great. I believe it has more potential than Senegal as far as membership growth. I have been wondering about them for years. Egypt has a higher percentage of Christians but it is much more politically charged. People blame religion for so many problems, but in reality it is political and economic issues and the control for power that cause the worst conflicts. Religion is abused and exploited for those aims: too many people get that confused.
Great to heat for West Africa.

Ryan Searcy said...

Great development! I hope this will increase the chances for a temple to be announced in Sierra Leone in the near future. It would be good to fill in some of the parts of the world where there are no nearby temples. I recently started to update my temple map after a few years of not doing it anymore, and I noticed that temple being built in Praia Cabo Verde is going to be a pretty remote temple, with the nearest temple in Accra over 1700 miles away. Something I discovered that is slightly humorous for me, but interesting nonetheless, is that once the Fortaleza Brazil Temple is dedicated, that temple will be closer to Praia than Accra is (to later have Abidjan be closer once it is dedicated).

James said...

This is a great development, to be sure. Thank you, Matt, for bringing us the report about that on this blog. While I may not have the analyzing skills that Matt has regarding the subject of Church growth, if memory serves me correctly, other African nations which have had missionaries begin to serve therein have found a very high receptivity to the message and hope that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings. I certainly hope that will be true for Guinea. The more I study the African continent, the more I realize that there may be far more promise for that continent in terms of adding strength, numbers, and faith to the entire Church than we might now realize.

In an earlier post on this blog, Matt had noted that, if the growth of the Church within the Africa West Area continues the way it has recently, the number of temples serving that area could go from 4 in various phases to at least 13 in operation by 2030. With that in mind, I have no doubt we are sure to see a lot of growth occurring in the Africa West Area over the next decade, and I am likewise certain that progress made in Guinea will play into the overall growth that is certain to occur.

Tyler Alley said...

First, missionaries were sent to Senegal, and now to Guinea; hopefully Mali is next! Exciting times!

James Anderson said...

Part of the matter with temples is family history, some changes there are coming, mostly in redesigned and new resources. Most of those will be announced next Thursday in a meeting to be broadcast on the page below at 7pm next Thursday, February 28th, but if you are unable to see it live it will be archived here and possibly one or two other pages.


Unknown said...

If anyone's interested, here's an email that was sent out to the Pocatello ID area:


Please consider this request to extend an invitation to the youth to participate in a ground clearing, service project at the Pocatello Idaho temple site on March 5th at 5:30pm.

If they dress warm and wear shoes appropriate for the conditions, the youth will have a faith building experience. It will be wonderful to see 1,000 youth helping at the temple site and will enable the removal of the sagebrush without bringing heavy equipment onto the soft ground.

Tools needed:
· Gloves
· Pruners
· Bow-saws
· Sharp shovels

Those who attend can park at the Highland Stake Center on 2140 Satterfield Drive and walk a short distance to the temple site. We are certain this experience will create a powerful memory each youth can look back on throughout their life. Clearing sagebrush in waist-deep snow on a cold day in March, uphill both directions to build a temple! The pioneer ancestors of the young men and women who participate will applaud their efforts from the other side of the veil as they share a common connection in this labor of love and faith.