Thursday, December 29, 2016

Correction: Stake in Belize

Back in August, I announced that missionaries serving in the El Salvador San Salvador/Belize Mission reported that the first stake in Belize would be organized in the coming months. However, I have found no additional information to substantiate this report. There do not appear to be any imminent plans to organize a stake in Belize. I apologize for the misinformation.


James said...

I don't care what anyone else says, Matt. You are only human, and you can only report on the information as it becomes available to you. I am sure that a stake in Belize was being looked at at one point earlier this year, as your report indicated, but clearly, that's no longer the case. I was excited about the idea of a stake in Belize, but it's not a deal-breaker for me that it's not going to happen within the immediate future. Thanks for your diligence in keeping us informed of such developments. Keep up the great work!

James said...

On a totally unrelated note, for all who read these comments of mine here, I did two Church-related blog posts today. One was an update of my temple construction progress report, the other was a tribute to Elder Bruce D. Porter, General Authority Seventy, who passed away yesterday. I invite anyone interested to check out those posts at the link below. Thanks.

John Pack Lambert said...

Hopefully Belize gets a stake. I am sad it will not be as soon as hoped. Outside of the Dominican Republic the Church is still fairly young and undeveloped in the Caribbean.

On a somewhat related note hopefully soon the Church will form a mission in Cuba.

John Pack Lambert said...

I always wonder why Belize is not put in the same mission as Jamaica. That would make more sense to me.

Christopher Nicholson said...

As I was traveling earlier this week I noticed that American Airlines started "historic" (their word) flights to Cuba about a month ago. Interesting.

SocProf said...

I predict the following stake Creations in Norht America in 2017

Arizona - Queen Creek, South East Mesa
California - Sacramento area
Idaho - Idaho Falls (Ammon), Rexburg
Indiana - Indianopolis
Nebraska - Omaha
Nevada - Las Vegas x 2
Oregon - Salem
Texas - Dallas (North), Houston (North)
Washington - Tri-Cities
Alberta - Calgary
Utah - Brigham city, southern cache County, Farmington, Syracuse, Morgon, South Jordan, Lehi x2, Hurricane

Eduardo said...

Where will the new Indianapolis stake be located? What will it be called?

Eduardo said...

Jamaican patois is an English variant than can be very hard to understand. I guess it might be good for missionaries assigned there to use it or at least interpret it.
The Belizean pidgin I have heard is unique; and I think a lot of them use Spanish, too.

Unknown said...

I was looking at the ward and stake boundaries in the Indianapolis stakes, what they would do is create a Columbus Indian Stake from the Indianapolis stake and then realign the remainder with the Indianapolis north stake to reconstitute it. I figure this because not much of the Indianapolis stake covers Indianapolis anymore. It's mostly the communities to the southeast including Columbus. Between those two stake there is 19 wards and one branch. The west Indianapolis stake could be involved too.

coachodeeps said...

I have wondered why Belize had been assigned to the San Salvador El Salvador Mission rather than one of the neighboring Guatemalan missions. I know the Belizean pidgin is unique to the languages spoke in the Guatemalan missions, but it is unique for those missionaries in the El Salvador mission too. I wonder if travel somehow is easier. I served in the Guatemala City South Mission and on the area closest to Belize (Santo Tomas derris Castillo on the east coast of Guatemala).

I got to know a few people from Belize. They spoke a unique version of Spanish that was a Creole Spanish Pidgin mix. I could understand them for the most part. None that I knew were members. One sister that feed is dinner each night was from Livingston originally had family was from Belize (her Grandpa).

I know the North Mission had missionaries not too far from the border of western Belize also. Curious.

Cory said...

To me it would make a lot more sense for Belize to be in the Guatemala Coban Mission. The mission has just 2 stakes and 4 districts. Each of the other Missions in Guatemala have 8+ stakes each and a handful of districts. Plus there is a branch on the Guatemala-Belize boarder that belongs to the Belize district. I read a missionary who was serving there and was excited that he had served his mission in three countries (El Salvador, Belize, and Guatemala.)So, I guess crossing the boarder isn't too difficult.

I talked with a returned missionary who served with Belize who told me the mission president can only visit at most once a month, if not less frequent. Separate AP's are also necessary and air travel is a hassle. I haven't asked him why the mission is the way it is. The only reason I can think of is the currency. El Salvador uses the dollar and Belize uses a currency that is pegged to the dollar. I wouldn't think that currency exchange is very difficult, but perhaps it holds a reason.

mrcuff said...

The reason that the country of Belize is not part of any of the Guatemala missions is probably due to historical reasons rather than geographical. Until recent years Guatemala had claimed Belize as part of their territory. I served a mission in Guatemala and I remember that the maps from the 1970s era that were produced In Guatemala included Belize as part of their territory.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was reading in Wikipedia about some indigenous peoples in Brazil. This caused me to wonder if the Church has ever attempted outreach to indigenous peoples in Brazil. Does anyone have any idea. Many live in very isolated areas and number under 10,000 total. My impression is that there are still many rural areas of Brazil where the Church has essentially no presence.

Mike Johnson said...

It was only about four or five years ago that Guatemala recognized Belize. British forces used to be there as a deterrent to the Guatemalans, leaving in 2012, but in the fall of 2016 they have now started training again in Belize again.

There is only one significant road between Belize and either Mexico or Guatemala. The Western Highway runs from Belize City to Guatemala. The road connects Banque Viejo Del Carmen, Belize to Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. Banque Viejo Del Carmen is in the Succotz Branch, Cayo Belize District. The Melchor de Mencos Branch is also in the same district. It is a long ways from any civilization in Guatemala.

A little south of Melchor de Mencos and Banque Viejo Del Carmen, is the village of Arenal, which is split by the two countries almost down the middle. There is even a stadium in the center of Arenal that is about half in each country and there are several streets that run east-west between the countries. Arenal reportedly is an old village that happened to be caught in this situation. The only road on the Guatemala side from Arenal runs north to Melchor de Mencos. On the Belize, the Arenal Road runs east from Arenal and connects with a road running south from Banque Viejo Del Carmen which continues toward the coast connecting Arenal with other parts of Belize without going through Banque Viejo Del Carmen. The Guatemala half of Arenal is in the Melchor de Mencos Branch and the Belize half of the village ls in the Succotz Branch.

There are rivers that run west-to-east across the border that may have some traffic, but I found no other roads connecting the two countries.

6 of the 7 branches of the Cayo Belize District lie on or near the Western Highway--on the east there is a branch in Belize's capital city (and third most populated city/town) of Belmopan. Then there are the branches in San Ignacio (2nd most populated city/town and capital of the Cuyo District) and its suburb of Santa Elena. About 3 km west northwest of San Ignacio is the town of Bullet Tree Falls with another branch. Continuing west from San Ignacio on the Western Highway, we come to the town of Succutz with a branch that covers much of western and southern Belize. And then finally the Melchor de Mencos Branch as we continue on the Western Highway into Guatemala. The other branch is on the coast in Dangriga (capital of the Stann Creek District).

James said...

Thanks to all for the continuing wonderful discussion. I greatly appreciate how much I have learned about Belize just from this topic thread alone, most of which I had not been aware. It will be interesting to see how the Church grows, changes, and develops during 2017. The 2016 developments have been many indeed. For those interested, I did a retrospective blog post to reflect on the progress that has been made in temple construction just within this year. You can check out that post on my blog. I also did a post detailing my theory about how the Europe East Area Presidency might have been reorganized with Elder Porter's release and subsequent death. I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks.

Mike Johnson said...

I wonder about Queen Creek and not Eagle Mountain in the prediction for getting a stake in 2017. Both are rapidly growing planned cities out in the desert off the main interstates. Today, each has 7 stakes with 57 wards. Queen Creek also has 4 branches--all of which are correctional facilities and Eagle Mountain has 2 branches--one Spanish and one Portuguese. Maybe Queen Creek is bursting more, but to me the 27,000 person Eagle Mountain and the 34,000 Queen Creek look like they have very similar LDS stats with about equal chance of a new stake.

Next to Eagle Mountain is the 25,000-person Saratoga Springs (also new and growing fast) with 6 stakes and 54 wards. Next to Queen Creek is the San Tan Valley (a census designated place with several planned communities numbering 81,000 in the 2010 census) with now two stakes--San Tan North Stake created in August--with a total in the two stakes of 13 wards and a branch. One ward and the Spanish branch of the San Tan Stake are in Florence, an old western town that has been stagnant at 30,000 people for several years. There is still a significant gap across the desert between the communities of San Tan Valley and Florence.

The LDS density in Queen Creek seems quite high compared to surrounding areas almost as high as Eagle Mountain or Saratoga Springs. I remain amazed that Queen Creek has such a high LDS population. I learned in the temple today from somebody who recently lived in Queen Creek that most buildings had 4 wards (I had seen that on LDS Maps), but was told that because of space and inability to overlap, in some buildings they have gone to 2 hour blocks.

Saratoga Springs has a stake with 13 wards. I don't know which of Queen Creek, Eagle Mountain, or Saratoga Springs will get the next stake. On paper, I would say Saratoga Springs has the better chance in the near future.

Eduardo said...

Jamaican patois is an English variant than can be very hard to understand. I guess it might be good for missionaries assigned there to use it or at least interpret it.
The Belizean pidgin I have heard is unique; and I think a lot of them use Spanish, too.

Eduardo said...

How is the church doing in Jamaica these days? Wilk Cuba get a mission?

James said...

Eduardo, good question. According to the LDS Church Temples site, Jamaica has 1 stake and 1 district. The actual unit breakdown is 6 wards and 13 branches. So the Church seems to be growing there, just not very fast. As for Cuba, the Church is, as of yet, very small. They just have 2 branches at this point. I anticipate that changing any time the Lord sees fit to move things forward there. But based on the fact that the Church is, as yet, in its infancy in Cuba, I would venture a guess that it will not be home to a mission anytime soon. I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong on this point, but FWIW, that's my take on this.