Sunday, March 28, 2010

Exciting Developments in Northeastern Brazil

Missionaries report that approval has been given for the Santarém Brazil Pará District to become a stake in the near future. The district was originally created in 1993. I will provide more information once the stake is organized.

The Castanhal Brazil District is also very close toward becoming a stake. The first stake in the Brazilian state of
Pará was organized in 1991. Two additional stakes were created in 1995 and 1997. A couple more stakes may soon be organized in Belem as well due to the large size of the three existing stakes. Furthermore, the mission president announced to missionaries that the Church has shown interest in building a temple in Belem in the near future. A potential temple in Belem would only currently serve five stakes and four districts in Pará and surrounding states, but the number of stakes could easily grow to nine or ten in the coming year or two. There does not appear to be any new outreach among the 32 cities in Pará with over 20,000 inhabitants without a congregation.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

English-Speaking Stake Discontinued in Japan

The Tokyo Japan South (English) Stake was discontinued and is now a district. The stake was the most recently created in 2003 and had four wards during the seven years it functioned. The stake was likely discontinued because it barely met the qualifications to be a stake with only four congregations. The Japanese economy has also suffered over the past decade and may have resulted in the English-speaking community returning to the United States or relocating elsewhere. There are now 28 stakes and 15 districts in Japan.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Stake Created in Kentucky

Missionaries report that a new stake was created in Kentucky in the past week. The new stake was likely created from a division of the Louisville Kentucky and New Albany Indiana Stakes and appears to have its headquarters in Crestwood, Kentucky. I will provide more information once it becomes available.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

District Discontinued in Brazil

A district was recently discontinued in Northeast Brazil. The Goiana Brazil District was discontinued and branches became part of the Paulista Brazil Stake just north of Recife. The district had three branches: Two in Goiana and one in Timbauba. The Goiana Brazil District was originally created in 2004. Prior to the district's creation, one ward functioned in Goiana and one branch in Timbauba. The district was likely discontinued due to its close proximity to Paulista and low prospects of greater growth resulting in additional congregations. There are 230 stakes and 50 districts in Brazil.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Church Growth News and Developments

Island opens for missionary work in Fiji

Around the beginning of 2010 the island of Kadavu received its first permanent missionaries. Located south of Suva, Kadavu appears to be the first island in Fiji's Eastern Division to have a Church presence and missionaries. Only one missionary companionship serves on Kadavu and Church services are held in two locations: Kavala and Vunisea. The population of Kadavu is 10,000. No branches have been created and only two groups have Sunday meetings. Most of those attending meetings are youth and attendance is steadily growing.

Additional branches to be created in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Impressive membership growth and high convert retention continues in the DR Congo. Missionaries report that district conferences in the interior have had more in attendance than members on the records. In Kananga, there were 500 investigators who attended a conference held several months ago. Missionaries report that several new branches will be created in Luputa and Mbuji-Mayi this year and the latter may become its own district. A third branch was also recently created in Mbuji-Mayi. The district in Luputa is working towards become a stake within the next year. The number of missionaries serving in Lubumbashi has continued to increase and a new zone was created. The city of Kolwezi may open for missionary work soon. There are now eight wards in each of the Lubumbashi stakes.

Growth in Kenya

Missionaries report that the four branches in the Kilunga Hills southeast of Nairobi continue to grow rapidly in membership. The newest branch, the Mitini Branch, was created less than a year ago and now has around 300 attending meetings. More branches will be created soon to accommodate the strong growth. This area seems highly likely to be made into a district, in addition to several other areas with multiple mission branches. Difficultly access these areas and limited leadership have likely delayed the creation of more districts.

Much of northern Norway closes to missionary work; missionaries relocated to southern Norway

In a bold move, the Norway Oslo Mission has closed most of the proselyting areas in northern Norway and placed missionaries in Oslo and surrounding cities. Northern Norway has seen little growth; two districts used to function, based in Trondheim and Tromso, but both were discontinued in the early or mid-2000s. Missionaries report the mission is working hard to turn several branches into wards around Oslo in order for a stake stake to be created. These areas also appear the most receptive to the Church.

Botswana recap: New branches and zone

A lot of developments have occurred over the past year. Branches have been established in Molepolole (spring 2009), Mochudi and Kanye (both in late 2009). The first YSA ward was created in Africa in Gaborone. Francistown also opened for missionary work. A second zone was also just created due to the large increase in missionaries serving Botswana. For more information about the Church in Botswana, check out the country profile at

Atolls in the Marshall Islands open for missionary work

Missionaries report that Ailinglaplap and Ebon have recently opened for missionary work. Both these atolls have only a couple thousand inhabitants and missionaries have been assigned due to members requesting them. On Ailinglaplap, the chief of the island joined the Church on Majuro and has been instrumental in the Church's recent establishment on the atoll. Missionaries also serve on Jaluit and together with Ailinglaplap and Ebon none of these areas have branches established. Church meetings occur in groups. Also, on Christmas Island in neighboring Kiribati at least two groups are also meeting, one of which may become a branch soon in a small community named Banana.

The opening of a nation to the Church: Significant Angola developments

Members in Angola report that the first group has been organized outside of Luanda in Lubango. There are over 100,000 inhabitants in the city and the newly created group has around 15 investigators attending Sunday meetings. A missionary companionship have also recently been assigned to Lubango. Members report that several more groups will be created in Huambo and Moxico Provinces. The two branches in Luanda will also divide to create two additional branches in the near future. Currently six missionaries serve in the country with another six or seven awaiting visas. For more information about the Church in Angola, click on this link to

New area opens in Lesotho

Missionaries have recently been assigned to work in the small town of Leribe. Leribe is the hometown of Lesotho's queen and is located on the border with South Africa 75 miles northeast of Maseru.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

District Discontinued in Chile

The Chañaral Chile District was discontinued and branches now report to the Chile Antofagasta Mission. The district used to have five branches in 2001 and had a population of around 40,000 within its boundaries. The four branches in the former district include the Tal-Tal, Chañara, Diego de Almagro, and El Salvador Branches. There area is sparsely populated desert and the towns mainly support the mining industry.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New District Created in Peru

Last Sunday a new district was created just north of Lima, Peru named the Huaral Peru District. Only two mission branches were functioning in the area prior to the creation of the district in Huaral and neighboring Chancay. Additional branches may have been created with the creation of the district. The new district will become part of the Peru Lima West Mission to be created this summer. There are now 94 stakes and 24 districts in Peru.

With the recent creation of the Huaral Peru District and the creation of districts in Andahuaylas and Huancavelica in 2008, the number of independent mission branches in Peru has dropped substantially. The only location which may have a district created from mission branches in the near future is in Olmos from two mission branches.

New Stake Created in Taiwan

A member has reported that a new stake was created last Sunday in Taiwan. It appears that the Kaohsiung Taiwan Stake was divided to create a second stake in the city. I will provide more details when they become available. There are now 11 stakes and two districts in Taiwan.

I originally posted this information on the Cities Without A LDS Church Presence Blog and I apologize for the mistake.