Friday, August 1, 2014

July 2014 Newsletter

Click here to access our July 2014 newsletter for providing updates on recent LDS missionary and church growth news, and recently added resources to our website.


Mike Johnson said...
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Mike Johnson said...

The Centenary 1st Branch (Tongan) and Centenary 2nd Branch (Samoan), Brisbane Australia Centenary Stake, were created on 27 July. There are now 8 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Bellbird Park Ward
Camira Ward
Collingwood Park Ward
Forest Lake Ward
Goodna Ward
Redbank Plains Ward
Richlands Ward
Springfield Ward
Centenary 1st Branch (Tongan)
Centenary 2nd Branch (Samoan)

Mike Johnson said...

The Astana Branch, Russia Novosibirsk Mission, was created on 3 August. There are now 3 independent branches in the mission:

Novosibirsk Russia District
Almaty Branch
Astana Branch
Russia Novosibirsk Mission Branch

The Graham 2nd Branch (Spanish), Graham Washington Stake, was created on 3 August. There are now 8 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Graham 2nd Branch (Spanish)
South Hill YSA Branch
Eatonville Ward
Elk Plain Ward
Firgrove Ward
Graham 1st Ward
Orting Ward
Rainier Ward
Spanaway Ward
Sunrise Ward

The Herriman Rose 2nd Ward, Riverton Utah Western Springs Stake, was created on 27 July. There are now 8 wards in the stake:

Castlewood Ward
Herriman Rose 1st Ward
Herriman Rose 2nd Ward
Riverton 19th Ward
Western Springs 1st Ward
Western Springs 2nd Ward
Western Springs 3rd Ward
Western Springs 4th Ward

Ray said...

Matt, thank you for the excellent monthly report of Church growth. So much work goes into them and they are greatly appreciated.

Here is what I am showing for July congregational growth:

Total growth + 20 W&B; + 40 W - 20 B, + 1 stake (2 stakes reported in July were created in late June).

US + 14 W&B; + 14 W, + 0 B
Outside US + 6 W&B; + 26 W - 20B,
+ 1 stake (Guatemala)

YTD + 199 W&B; + 227 W - 28 B;
US + 95 W&B; + 96 W - 1 B; + 14 stakes - 1 district
Outside US + 104 W&B; + 131 W - 27 B; + 15 stakes - 5 districts net, after deducting newly created districts from discontinued districts. Note: 72 branches have been converted to wards so far in 2014 as districts have become stakes.

Mike Johnson said...

The Astrakhan Branch, Russia Rostov-na-Donu Mission, was created on 3 August. There are now 17 independent branches in the mission:

Astrakhan Branch
Krasnodar Sentralny Branch
Novocherkassk Branch
Novorossiysk Branch
Rostov Selmash Branch
Rostov Severny Branch
Rostov Tsentralny Branch
Russia Rostov-na-Donu Mission Branch
Sochi Tsentralny Branch
Stavropol Branch
Taganrog Branch
Tuapse Branch
Volgograd Krasniarmesky Branch
Volgograd Traktorny Branch
Volgograd Tsentralny Branch
Volzhsky Branch
Zapadny Branch

The Greenfield 4th and Partridge wards, Chandler Arizona East Stake, were created on 3 August. There are now 12 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Greenfield 1st Ward
Greenfield 2nd Ward
Greenfield 3rd Ward
Greenfield 4th Ward
Grove 1st Ward
Grove 2nd Ward
Grove 3rd Ward
Lindsay 1st Ward
Lindsay 2nd Ward
Lindsay 3rd Ward
Partridge Ward
Ray 5th Ward (Spanish)
San Tan Branch

The Ixtapan de la Sal Branch, Metepec México Stake, was created on 27 July. There are now 6 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Atlatlahuca Ward
Las Torres Ward
Metepec Ward
Tejupilco Ward
Tenancingo Ward
Tollocan Ward
Ixtapan de la Sal Branch
Valle de Bravo Branch

The Sylvan Branch (Spanish), Modesto California North Stake, was created on 3 August. There are now 9 wards and 3 branches in the stake:

Modesto 1st Ward
Modesto 7th Ward
Oakdale 1st Ward
Oakdale 2nd Ward
Oakdale 3rd Ward
Riverbank Ward
Salida Ward
Sonora 1st Ward
Sonora 2nd Ward
Groveland Branch
Modesto YSA 2nd Branch
Sylvan Branch (Spanish)

Eduardo said...

Almaty and Astana are the two biggest towns in Kazakhstan; are any more ready to get branches?
My nephew from Yucaipa will return tomorrow from Sierra Leone, skipping the last 6 weeks. He served a great mission

Mike Johnson said...

The Sandpoint YSA Branch, Sandpoint Idaho Stake, was created on 3 August. There are now 8 wards and 3 branches in the stake:

Bonners Ferry 2nd Ward
Bonners Ferry 1st Ward
Libby Ward
Newport Ward
Priest River Ward
Sandpoint Ward
Sunnyside Ward
Westmond Ward
Clark Fork Branch
Sandpoint YSA Branch
Troy Branch

Ryan Searcy said...

Just curious, is there anyone that know which countries the Church is not recognized in and why? By my count, there are 62, and I summize most of them are because the countrybis either very Muslim or very Communist.

Jim Coles said...

The missionaries in my ward in Omaha are teaching a woman from Sudan. She speaks very little English and her native language is Nuer. I did some research and found that Nuer is spoken by about 1 million people in Central and Eastern Africa. I'm curious if there any missionaries or even members of the church that speak Nuer. Also does the church have a required number of members before they consider having the Book of Mormon translated to a new language. I'm curious what the process may be accomplish this

The Chatelain's said...

I believe Omaha had a Nuer speaking branch years ago

Michael said...

I just did a search on CDOL and it returned 0 results on units with Nuer as a spoken language.

Chapman117 said...

As a missionary I served in Omaha for 18 months between 2005-2007. While I was there I recall the missionaries in the Fontenelle ward having great success teaching and baptizing several Sudanese refugees (more than likely some of the lost boys of Sudan). I think this success and a high married student population near UNO caused local leadership to create the Conestoga branch. This branch was always English speaking, although many Sudanese probably spoke in their own tongue. However due to poor retention and frequent turnover due to students moving out the branch was closed in the near past.

Jim Coles said...

Yes the Conestiga branch was consolidated and all the ward boundaries in the Omaha stake were reorganized. We went from being in the Elkhorn Ward to what is now the Deer Creek Ward. I lived in Bellevue for some time and there were quite a few Sudanese in South Omaha as well.

Eduardo said...

The Sudanese people that I know (maybe 4-5), mostly Arabic teachers, do speak fluent Arabic, and some may know a bit more of their ethnic or tribal tongues. But not as likely as those originating in the southern part of the country.

I am no expert of the Sudan, as a guy I met at UCLA is, but it seems the Christian South (now its own nation) has more people who speak non-Arabic tongues, and going with that are animist or Christian rather than Muslim.

A famous non-Muslim Sudanese people are the Dinka, of which Manute Bol was a prominent figure.

The existence of South Sudan should lead to more LDS missionary activity, but there has been some really brutal ethnic and political struggles there. I cannot recall the tribe/group that has the biggest problems...

Does anyone know where all the 274 Liberian/Sierra Leonian missionaries have gone? I know of two: one returned 6 weeks early to California and another will finish his 10 1/2 months in Accra, Ghana.

Sinverguenza said...

A young man from my ward with 3 months left to serve in the Liberia mission was reassigned to a mission in Tennessee.

Eduardo said...

Thanks for the feedback. I did some more research on South Sudan, and sadly the Dinka andNuer people have been fighting each other. How Christian either group is remains to be seen.
Did anyone else read about an LDS missionary couple directing aid for Iraqi Kurdistan? I would like to know more...

Joseph said...

The only think I've seen is a brief mention in Sharon Eubank talk at the FAIRMormon Confrence

I am the director of LDS Charities, which is the humanitarian arm of the church. And yesterday, while I should have been preparing for this talk, it was a really interesting day. The first thing was, I was in a panel. We weren’t presenting, but we were in a discussion about the social costs of pornography, which is why I’ve been referring to it today. And we were talking about how early use of pornography creates an earlier onset of sexual activity. People are younger, in studies. They are four times more likely to hire a prostitute. They are way more likely to commit adultery. They are more likely to lose their jobs. They are more likely to get divorced. They are more likely to contract disease. There are all of these social costs that are involved with pornography and I was in this panel, we were talking about this. Big, big difficult, thorny issues. In the middle of that, I got a phone call because the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is marching and going through cities and they are purging out Christians. And so, you have got 800,000 Christians that have fled these cities and they are up in Northern Iraq where the Kurds live. And they are showing up. And as they leave the cities they are from, their houses are confiscated. There is a big Arabic word on their house that says this now belongs to ISIS. And as they walk out of town, their belongings are searched and everything of value is taken from them. Their money, their clothing, their cellphones, their passports, all their identity papers, their wedding rings. And then they are kicked out of town and they are told “If you come back, you will be executed.”

Now think about if this was happening to us. You have got men and women. You have 15-20 people crammed into a tiny little vehicle, and all their luggage is strapped on top. It is everything they have in the world. And they are fleeing into the Kurdish region or they are walking on the road carrying suitcases. And when they get there, where do they go? Well, they show up in the church. There are 5,000 people in the vicar of Baghdad’s Anglican Church. Think about your stake conference and then quadruple it, and all those people are there and they don’t have anything to eat that night. And the vicar is saying, “What do I do?”

Well, we have one missionary couple up in Kurdistan. A very intrepid couple from Salt Lake, Walt and Peggy Plum, and they are calling me on the phone to say, “What do we do?” Now I’m not trying to be funny and I’m not trying to be aggrandizing about my job, but these are the issues that are going on.


The second question is, has the church sent any aid to the Christians in Iraq?

This is why I had to leave that meeting yesterday. The church authorized an emergency funding, $100,000, to just buy oil, beans, rice, and bedding. I got a picture last night of a woman, she is probably seventy years old. And she is lying on the street on some kind of a foam pad with a pillow and she has her slippers, she has a tin cup, she has a bottle of water, and she has a flashlight. And she is not able to stand up. And she is just lying between a window, a wall, and the street where the traffic is going by. And I think that is the condition all over the city. So it’s not the amount of money. It’s finding people who can deliver the aid. And so we will continue to do that. We authorized the $100,000. We will continue to authorize that money as fast as they are able to distribute. And yesterdays’ money will go up to that vicar who has five thousand people in his church yard and is looking every day to say “How do I feed these five thousand people?”

And we will continue to do that. We are also doing the same thing in Gaza. But it is very hard to spend money in the right kind of way that it actually helps the people with a good transparent partner. Thanks for the question about that.

Mike Johnson said...

The Buadi Ward, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Binza Stake, was created on 10 August. There are now 10 wards in the stake:

Binza Delvaux Ward
Binza Ozone Ward
Binza Pigeon Ward
Binza UPN Ward
Binza Village Ward
Buadi Ward
Camp Luka Ward
Djelo Binza Ward
Lubudi Ward
Nsanga Maba Ward

The Rio Rancho YSA Branch, Rio Rancho New Mexico Stake, was created on 10 August. There are now 7 wards and 3 branches in the stake:

Bernalillo Ward
Cabezon Ward
Chamisa Ward
Enchanted Hills Ward
High Range Ward
Panorama Heights Ward
Star Heights Ward
Coronado Branch (Spanish)
Cuba Branch
Rio Rancho YSA Branch

The Tenoné Ward, Belém Brazil Icoaraci Stake, was created on 10 August. There are now 7 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Agulha Ward
Augusto Montenegro Ward
Icoaraci Ward
Paracurí Ward
Satélite Ward
Tapajós Ward
Tenoné Ward
Outeiro Branch

Michael said...

Joseph, thank you for sharing that information. The state of affairs in that area of the world is certainly sobering, and I am glad we are able to try and help in some small way.

Mike Johnson said...

The Creek Lane and Quail Flight wards, Farmington Utah North Stake, were created on 12 August. There are now 10 wards in the stake:

Canyon View Ward
Compton Bench Ward
Creek Lane Ward
Kensington Ward
Northridge Ward
Orchards Ward
Quail Flight Ward
Shepard Park Ward
Shepard View Ward
Somerset Ward

The Isah Branch, Ogwashi-Nsukwa Nigeria District, Nigeria Benin City Mission, was created on 10 August. There are now 5 branches in the district:

Isah Branch
Nsukwa Branch
Ogwashi-Uku 1st Branch
Ogwashi-Uku 2nd Branch
Ogwashi-Uku 3rd Branch

The Macau 3rd Branch, China Hong Kong Mission, was created on 10 August. There are now 3 independent branches in the mission:

Macau 1st Branch
Macau 2nd Branch (English)
Macau 3rd Branch

Mike Johnson said...

The Evanston YSA Branch, Evanston Wyoming Stake, was created on 10 August. There are now 5 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Almy Ward
Evanston 2nd Ward
Evanston 3rd Ward
Evanston 5th Ward
Evanston 6th Ward
Duncomb Hollow Branch (Correctional Facility)
Evanston YSA Branch

The Livingston Branch, McMinnville Tennessee Stake, was created on 20 July. There are now 8 wards and 5 branches in the stake:

Altamont Ward
Burgess Falls Ward
Cookeville Ward
Crossville Ward
Jamestown Ward
McMinnville 1st Ward
Tompkinsville Ward
Tullahoma Ward
Jasper Branch
Livingston Branch
McMinnville 2nd Branch (Spanish)
Sparta Branch
Winchester Branch

The Sitio Lucas Branch, Campina Grande Brazil Liberdade Stake, was created on 3 August. There are now 7 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Bodocongo Ward
Jardim Paulistano Ward
Liberdade Ward
Malvinas Ward
Prata Ward
Presidente Medice Ward
Queimadas Ward
Sitio Lucas Branch

Mike Johnson said...

The Ogbe Ward, Benin City Nigeria Ihogbe Stake, Benin City Nigeria Ihogbe Stake, was created on 27 July. There are now 9 wards in the mission:

Evbuotubu Ward
Ihogbe 1st Ward
Ihogbe 2nd Ward
Ogbe Ward
Oliha Ward
Ugboikhoko Ward
Uzebu 1st Ward
Uzebu 2nd Ward
West Circular Ward

John Pack Lambert said...

For a time about 10 years ago there was a Nuer speaking branch in Omaha. It did not last long though.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Book of Mormon has actually been translated into languages that it was not clear more than one church member spoke, but in those cases it was the one church member who did the translation as an independent project. Current policy is generally to translate the Joseph Smith's testimony of the 1st Vision before anything else.

The Church has also managed to move into countries like India largely relying on the fact that there is a population that speaks English. Whether this is a good policy in the long run I can't say.

Mike Johnson said...

Yes, the Church moved into India because of English speakers, but I think something else was more important. The Church sometimes can obtain permission to send missionaries into a country directly, but it usually requires existing members (or at least investigators) living in the country. There are exceptions, but largely the Church follows members into new areas. Members move in following jobs. Except, of course, those countries that are more open to foreign missionaries, but they have been open for a very long time.

We operate somewhat differently from other churches in regard to opening countries. Those churches with full time career missionaries, they can decide at almost any time to prepare a single missionary or a small group to enter a country. They may spend years learning the language and culture and gaining contacts before actually beginning the work in the new country. With 1.5 to 2 years for missions, it is much harder to decide to retrain existing missionaries. Instead, we often spend years trying to obtain authorization to proselyte and only then do we call missionaries and train them over a few weeks to enter the new country.

The Church entered Mongolia by BYU responding to a request from Mongolia for a few college professors. A wealthy member had hunted in Mongolia and gained some contacts. Later as a Seventy he served in the Asia Area Presidency and used his contacts in Mongolia to draw out the request for professors. That opened the door and membership grew rapidly--the first convert was associated with these professors (secretary or librarian, I can't remember which) and her son about 12 years later became the first stake president. Without a member having contacts, I doubt the Church would have been able to enter Mongolia.

Mike Johnson said...

When I have heard Matt and others advocate that the Church take a more proactive role in opening new countries, I wonder the extent the Church even has such opportunities. There are fascinating country studies on about the growth in many countries compared to other missionary minded churches.

Mike Johnson said...

When I have heard Matt and others advocate that the Church take a more proactive role in opening new countries, I wonder the extent the Church even has such opportunities. There are fascinating country studies on about the growth in many countries compared to other missionary minded churches.

I have wondered how the Church could actually have done that given our missionary model.

When I look at new stake presidencies, particularly in new and rapidly growing countries, I see CES employees and others with temporal employment by the Church. I find myself wondering whether CES employees aren't the LDS counterpart of a paid clergy.

John Pack Lambert said...

The CES is not a paid clergy, and they take all sorts of efforts to make that clear. Accusations of such really bothered Elder Maxwell when he was CES Comissioner back in the 1970s.

Many countries in the mid-20th century the Church entered on the heels of US military personel. Spain, Italy, Paraguay and the Phillipines are the examples that come to mind the fastest. On the other hand that is also the story in Turkey, but it never moved from military personnel to a local church developing.

I guess South Korea and Japan largely were out-growths of US military personnel being there.

Mike Johnson said...

My suggestion that CES may serve a similar role in our Church to paid clergies in others in terms of growing churches in new areas was not meant to claim equality of function. It is a different approach entirely. Clearly, the ecclesiastical callings one has are not dependent on the temporal employment.

In other words, we have people hired for a career to teach the gospel in classroom settings. Some of these people, may--just like anybody in different vocations--be called into ecclesiastical leadership. Many other churches use career ministers or priests to serve in the ecclesiastical functions, who may also serve in education or other roles in a secondary capacity when it comes to their career.

My point was that by hiring individuals in a temporal profession that helps them grow in faith, learning, and scholarship related to the Church, we generate a solid foundation to build the Church. Some of these people may receive ecclesiastical callings--we see that all the time. But, being a CES employee does not, of course, imply any responsibility in a branch, ward, district, or stake.

The BYU professors who went into Mongolia that led to great success there--we are the largest Christian church in the country--are similar to this CES model. Stable, career, educated, doctrinally sound, who could be asked to move to a new country and use them to build a foundation for the Church there.

We are organized fundamentally differently from other churches and the full time career clergy can be an advantage in establishing a church in a new area. We don't spend 4 to 8 years educating people we intend to employ in ecclesiastical roles that we can decide to send into a new area. We have to rely on members moving into an area to attempt to "plant" a local congregation.

I agree very much about the spread into areas because of members employed in the military. Members follow jobs or other opportunities and the Church then follows the members into new areas. CES not only offers some opportunity to move into new areas, but also as the Church grows in an area, hiring into CES can strengthen the members and the Church over time.

Grant Emery said...

Interestingly enough, as Come Follow Me has changed the way we train youth, there has been an increased emphasis on learning to teach and preparing for missions. Of course, they still don't know where they're going and they're so young that they're still learning basic doctrine. Still, we're kind of moving into training our missionaries for four years or more to serve their missions. Yes, I know it's different; it's just an interesting parallel.

John Pack Lambert said...

This article talks about new seminary graduation requirements, which also seems to be part of making seminary a better preparation for missionaries.

Adam said...

Got word from an Elder that the Culasi group, which was created a little over 4 months ago, had an attendance of 61 this past Sunday. They just moved sacrament from their apartment to a rented meetinghouse and it is already getting too crowded for the meetinghouse.

Mike Johnson said...

The Ipswich Branch (Samoan), Ipswich Australia Stake, was created on 3 August. There are now 8 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Brassall Ward
Darling Heights Ward
Karana Downs Ward
Raceview Ward
Somerset Ward
Toowoomba Ward
Warwick Ward
Yamanto Ward
Dalby Branch
Ipswich Branch (Samoan)

The Michel Camp Branch, Tema Ghana Stake, was created on 17 August. There are now 10 wards and 5 branches in the stake:

Adjei Kojo Ward
Ashaiman Ward
Batsona Ward
Bethlehem Ward
Lebanon Ward
Nungua 2nd Ward
Sun City Ward
Tema 2nd Ward
Tema 1st Ward
Tema 3rd Ward
Klagon Branch
Kpone Branch
Michel Camp Branch
New Town Branch
Zenu Branch

The Nankoko Ward, Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Toit Rouge Stake, was created on 17 August. There are now 10 wards in the stake:

Abobodoume Ward
Andokoi Ward
Foncier Ward
Koute Ward
Nankoko Ward
Nouveau Quartier 1st Ward
Nouveau Quartier 2nd Ward
Toit Rouge 1st Ward
Toit Rouge 2nd Ward
Toit Rouge 3rd Ward

The Owasso Ward, Tulsa Oklahoma East Stake, was created on 17 August. There are now 11 wards and 2 branches in the stake:

Brookhollow Ward
Cedar Ridge Ward
Claremore Ward
Elm Creek Ward
Fair Oaks Ward
Henryetta Ward
Indian Springs Ward
Mingo Valley Ward
Owasso Ward
Pryor Ward
Ranch Creek Ward
Redbud Valley Branch (Spanish)
Tulsa YSA Branch

The Siuniu Branch, Upolu Samoa Saleilua Stake, was created on 20 July. There are now 7 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Nuuelua Ward
Saaga Ward
Saleilua Ward
Sapunaoa Ward
Siumu Ward
Tafatafa Ward
Vaovai Ward
Siuniu Branch

Mike Johnson said...

Grant, good point. Yes, we do spend years training them. And elder in our ward just left last week. He arrived at the Argentina MTC and quickly was assessed that he knew Spanish and Teach My Gospel well enough that he is being sent four weeks earlier than scheduled to his mission in Paraguay.

John, thanks for pointing out the article. My daughter graduated from Seminary this past year and is breathing a sigh of relief she didn't need to meet the new standards. I, for one, am happy with the new Seminary graduation standards.

Adam, thanks for the information on the growth of the group. Hopefully, they will be able to form a branch soon.

James Anderson said...

Since about 3/4 of the students have one or more year of seminary under their belts already, I'm sure arrangements are being made so they still graduate under the new program even though they didn't have to take the two tests the one to three years they may not have.

Adam said...

I was wondering how long into August we'd have to wait for a new stake. The Boyton Beach Florida Stake was created from a division of a few stakes.

Mike Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Johnson said...

The Boynton Beach Florida Stake was created on 17 August. There are 5 wards in the stake:

Boca Raton Ward
Boynton Beach Ward
Delray Beach Ward
Palm Beach Ward
West Palm Beach Ward (Spanish)

The Cojolyá Branch, Solola Guatemala District, Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission, was created on 10 August. There are now 7 branches in the district:

Cojolyá Branch
Panajachel Branch
San Andrés Semetabaj Branch
San Lucas Toliman Branch
Santiago Atitlán Branch
Solola 1st Branch
Solola 2nd Branch

The Anum Apapam Branch, Asamankese Ghana District, Ghana Accra West Mission, was created on 10 August. There are now 7 branches in the district:

Anum Apapam Branch
Asamankese 1st Branch
Asamankese 2nd Branch
Asamankese Ghana District Branch
Kade Branch
Oda 1st Branch
Oda 2nd Branch

The Calaba Town Branch, Kissy Sierra Leone District, Sierra Leone Freetown Mission, was created on 20 July. There are now 7 branches in the district:

Calaba Town Branch
Kissy 1st Branch
Kissy 2nd Branch
Kontoloh Branch
Thunderhill Branch
Wellington 1st Branch
Wellington 2nd Branch

The Effiduasi Branch, Ghana Kumasi Mission, was created on 20 July. There are now 12 independent branches in the mission:

Nkawkaw Ghana District
Obuasi Ghana District
Sunyani Ghana District
Agona Branch
Asamang Branch
Bibiani Branch
Dwumoh Branch
Education Ridge Branch
Effiduasi Branch
Ghana Kumasi Mission Branch
Kenten Branch
Krobo Branch
Mampong Branch
Vatican Branch
Vitin Branch

The N'Djili 2nd Ward, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Masina Stake, was created on 17 August. There are now 8 wards in the stake:

Abattoir Ward
Debonhomme Ward
Liberté Ward
Masina 1st Ward
N'Djili 1st Ward
N'Djili 2nd Ward
Sans-Fil Ward
Telecom Ward

The Ubay Branch, Calape Philippines District, Philippines Cebu East Mission, was created on 17 August. There are now 6 branches in the district:

Calape Branch
Inabanga Branch
Loon Branch
Talibon Branch
Tubigon Branch
Ubay Branch

Eduardo said...

Carrying on with the discussion of the strength of some of the North Carolina wards/stakes, is the overall missionary effort doing well there? In the DC South mission, there seems to be more baptisms than ever, the 2014 goals around 700 or so. Of course, there is a lot of population growth in these stakes in general, which leads to higher baptismal rates. I guess those parts of Apex, Morrisville, and surrounding parts are seeing increased economic and population growth?

Is there a place to check how each mission baptizes from year to year?

Brooks M. Wilson said...

Ed, I would like to know if there is a connection between missionary assignments and Church finances. My guess is that growth in Africa and other areas with fast growth is constrained by the Church's ability to subsidize operations there with funds supplies by members is wealthier areas.

I find your discussion about growth in the Church in South DC and North Caroline interesting for a personal reason. My grandmother, siblings and parents joined the Church in the Blue Ridge Mountains just miles from the North Carlina border.

Eduardo said...

Wow, what a topic. Missionary assignments related to church finances. I can't say I know a lot, but I have a few perspectives.

For instance, when I did my mission in Chile Concepcion in the 1990s, most of us US elders and sisters (maybe 60 percent overall) funded our way. Most of the South Americans (perhaps 35%) were financed by the Church.

More later...

The Opinion said...

@Ed Clinch... Living in the Apex NC Stake, I know last year we had only 38 baptisms for the whole stake. This year for the first 6 months we had 38 baptisms. We are on track to have around 80 baptisms in the stake for the year, which is doubled from previous year. Much of our growth has come because of the economic conditions. Raleigh is constantly top three in nation on many of the best places lists. However, what comes with that is real strength. Second in growth and strength indicators looked at by the General Authorities. Also we have the most missionaries sent out east of the missionaries per number of members in the stake. I think our stake has around 45 full time missionaries serving right now.

Brooks M. Wilson said...

My degree is in economics. I believe that outcomes come down to incentives and resource allocations. I believe that the objective of the Church is to help bring about the exaltation of men and women. To accomplish that goal, we need resources (money, missionaries and temples) to produce members who can be married in the temple, producing more members and more funds.

I served in the Argentina Cordoba Mission (1976-78). I know that all my companions paid their own way (or their parents did). I suspect few of the US missionaries received help from the Church. Probably 10% of our missionaries were Argentine. I suspect many had help.

I would love to hear your opinion on the topic of church growth and finances.

Unknown said...

When I served my mission(in the Colorado Denver South Mission 06-08)there were meany wards that were oddly shaped in order to make sure that there were both wealthy and poor members in the same ward. This is more of a local example but it is clear that money is something the brothern have to think about in order to fund buildings and the needs of its members. further more, the church has stated many times that the basic needs of people have to be met before we can start to do proselyting. Or in other words, if someone is; starving to death, displaced by civil war, infected with Ebola...etcetera, it is not going to do them any good to teach them the gospel. They first need those needs met and that requires money. So, even if it is not a direct thought of the general authorities, it has to be apart of the equation.

Mike Johnson said...

The Draper Utah Suncrest Stake was created on 17 August. There are 6 wards in the stake:

Eagle Crest 1st Ward
Eagle Crest 2nd Ward
Eagle Crest 3rd Ward
Suncrest 1st Ward
Suncrest 2nd Ward
Suncrest 3rd Ward

The Boca del Monte 2nd Ward, Guatemala City Villa Hermosa Stake, was created on 17 August. There are now 7 wards in the stake:

Boca del Monte 1st Ward
Boca del Monte 2nd Ward
Ciudad Real Ward
El Carmen Ward
La Hermosa Ward
Prados Ward
Villa Hermosa Ward

The José Tenório Ward, Maceió Brazil Stake, was created on 17 August. There are now 10 wards and 1 branch in the stake:

Aeroclube Ward
Antares Ward
Clima Bom Ward
Colina Ward
Farol Ward
Feitosa Ward
Jardim Alagoas Ward
Jardim do Horto Ward
José Tenório Ward
Paraíso Ward
Boa Vista Branch

The Palmarejo 2nd Ward, Praia Cape Verde Stake, was created on 10 August. There are now 12 wards and 4 branches in the stake:

Achada Grande Ward
Assomada 1st Ward
Assomada 2nd Ward
Eugénio Lima Ward
Palmarejo 1st Ward
Palmarejo 2nd Ward
Praia 1st Ward
Praia 2nd Ward
Praia 3rd Ward
Praia 4th Ward
Praia 5th Ward
Tarrafal Ward
Calheta Branch
Chão Bom Branch
Maio Branch
Ribeirão Manuel Branch

The Porto Novo Branch, Benin Cotonou Mission, was created on 17 August. There are now 2 independent branches in the mission:

Benin Cotonou Mission Branch
Porto Novo Branch
Cotonou Benin District

The Teko Road Branch, Sierra Leone Freetown Mission, was created on 10 August. There are now 3 independent branches in the mission:

Bo Sierra Leone East District
Bo Sierra Leone West District
Kenema Sierra Leone District
Kissy Sierra Leone District
Kossoh Town Sierra Leone District
Makama Branch
Sierra Leone Freetown Mission Branch
Teko Road Branch

Unknown said...

Is the Porto Novo branch the first branch in Benin outside of Cotonou? If so, that`s a major step since despite tremendously fast membership and congregational growth, both Benin and Togo appear to have had all their congregations operate in the largest city of each country.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think the general policy of the Church is that people serving from the US almost always have their missions funded through the ward mission fund. I knew a person who had been raised in inner city Detroit whose mission was funded by various members of the singles ward in Michigan he left from.

I have to admit I have no idea even how exactly my companions were funding their missions. In the Las Vegas mission this was not something we discussed.

However, from a standpoint of the Church over all it is much cheaper to send missionaries from Zimbabwe to Zimbabwe and Congo to Congo than to send them to the United States. The cost of living is much higher in the United States, so it is more costly for the missionaries to live there. Despite this we currently have a missionary from the Democractic Republic of the Congo in my mission, and one native to Zambia in my ward. The one from Zambia joined the Church after he moved to Florida, so that is not too surprising (other than my ward has a low number of African-American residents compared to some in our mission, but many more than we had 20 years ago).

I know my mission president viewed having missionaries from Mongolia (I think we had almost 10 at one point) as a chance to show them the Church operating fully. In fact, with DR Congo having a temple in planning, it might be logical to send missionaries to missions with temples in their boundaries, even though policies on missionaries going to the temple now make it much less common than when I was onmy mission. There was a point on my mission when we would go to the temple weekly.

John Pack Lambert said...

In Las Vegas I covered a ward that was 3 miles by a quarter mile, partly for economic reasons. I think though the big factor was in the poorer section of the ward, the population moved in and out very fast. People would often get baptized, improve their economic lot with the encouragement of the gospel and move out. We actually covered two wards shaped like this, and earlier there had been 1 ward that did not go as far into more stable population areas. It had had an extremely high population turn over.

James Anderson said...

Phoenix East Stake had until the 1990 changes in the ward budget moving from a member-driven budget to a Church-provided budget had similar 'spaghetti' wards.

All seven wards in the stake ran from just south of I-10 up to what we knew then as Squaw Peak (theoretical boundary was the then-planned SR-50 freeway, cancelled, currently Northern Avenue).

Most all the wards were less than a mile wide, maybe one was wider but that was about the case until after 1990. They went to a more traditional neighborhood model after the financial changes in 1990.

For that meeting, see this page and scroll down to the 'Member Finance Fireside' at the bottom of the page, video, audio, and text is available.