Sunday, December 1, 2019

New Stakes Created in Brazil, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, and Utah; New Districts Created in Cote d'Ivoire and the Philippines

The Church organized a new stake in the city of São Paulo for the first time since 2011. The São Paulo Brazil Sapopemba Stake was organized from a division of the São Paulo Brazil Penha Stake and the São Paulo Brazil Ipiranga Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards: the Jardim Santo Andre, Jardim Tiete, Sapopemba, São Mateus, and Vila Industrial Wards. There are now 41 stakes in the São Paulo metropolitan area.

There are now 277 stakes and 39 districts in Brazil.

A new stake was organized in Anambra State on November 24th. The Akwa Nigeria Stake was organized from a division of the Onitsha Nigeria Stake. The new stake includes the following five wards and three branches: the Akwa 1st, Akwa 2nd, Ekwulobia, Obosi 1st, and Okpuno Wards, and the Ihembosi, Nnewi, and Ogidi Branches. The Church has experienced rapid growth in this region of Anambra State since the Onitsha Nigeria District became a stake in 2016. One of the most impressive developments was the creation of the Ekwulobia Ward, which was organized earlier this year from a member group that met in the city of Ekwulobia. In contrast, groups usually develop into branches before they become wards given the higher standards for the number of active members needed for a ward to operate.

There are now 59 stakes and 19 districts in Nigeria.

Today the Church organized a new stake in northern Peru. The Paita Peru Stake was organized from the Paita Peru District. All six branches in the district appeared to become wards in the new stake. The original Paita Peru District was created in 1995.

There are now 112 stakes and 17 districts in Peru.

Sierra Leone
The Kenema Sierra Leone District became a stake on November 24th. No other stakes or districts were included in the creation of the new stake. The new stake includes the following six wards and four branches: the Dauda Town, Hangha Road, IDA, Kenema, Kpayama, and Simbeck Wards, and the Burma, Kailahun, Nyandeyama, and Tongo Branches. The new stake is the Church's seven stake in Sierra Leone, and the sixth stake in the country organized since 2017.

There are now seven stakes and two districts in Sierra Leone.

The Church organized a new stake in Herriman, Utah on November 24th. The Herriman Utah Towne Center Stake was organized from a division of the Riverton Utah Western Springs Stake and the Herriman Utah Pioneer Stake. The new stake includes at least the following five wards: Herriman Rose 1st Ward, Herriman Rose 2nd Ward, Herriman Rose 3rd Ward, Herriman Rose 4th Ward, and the Pioneer 1st Ward. Additional wards may be assigned to the new stake, or creation of additional wards may be imminent given that most new stakes in Utah have between 6-9 wards total.

There are now 604 stakes and one district in Utah.

Cote d'Ivoire
The Church organized a new district in central Cote d'Ivoire on October 27th. The Sinfra Cote d'Ivoire District was organized from two mission branches in the city of Sinfra, and one branch in Bayota that previously pertained to the Gagnoa Cote d'Ivoire District. The first branch in Bayota was organized in 2016, whereas the first branch in Sinfra was organized in 2017. There are three branches in the new district. With the creation of the new district, there are now 14 stakes and 17 districts in Cote d'Ivoire. 

The Church organized a new district on Palawan Island on 29th. The Quezon Philippines Palawan District was organized from a division of the Narra Philippines District (organized in 1996). The new district includes four branches: Brooke's Point, Cabar, Quezon Palawan, and Rizal. There are now two districts and one stake on Palawan.

There are now 114 stakes and 64 districts in the Philippines.


Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

Slightly unrelated comment:

I met the first person I've ever known to have served in Vanuatu last night. He just returned from his mission a month ago. Coincidentally, his older brother served there as well.

He told his cousin and me some great stories about what it's like there. In fact (and he even brought this up), a lot of it reminded me of "The Other Side of Heaven."

Apparently, there's so little infrastructure on some of the islands that it's essentially like a 2 year long camping trip: living off the land, hunting and fishing for food, helping locals with gardening (using machetes).

He was one of the few white missionaries that gets sent there, as the Church generally sends other Pacific Islanders: Tongans, Samoans, Tahitians, etc.

The Church is growing rapidly in some of the areas, though retention and activity rates are still an issue. His mission president was implementing a rule that potential members had to attend church at least twice before baptism. Some converts come from other Christian faiths, like Catholicism. There are some people who still practice a local religion, which involves idol worship (but he told a great story of a strong conversion of a former staunch traditional religion practicioner).

I asked him his personal projection of when he thought a temple would be built there, based on strength of the established Church and conversion rates. He estimated within 5 years.

Eduardo said...

Great stuff about Vanuatu. Cool to know. Thanks.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...

No prob, Ed. ;)

John Pack Lambert said...

I thought attending 3 times was mandated by preach my gospel. I know that is the absolute minimum my mission allows.

coachodeeps said...

My cousin served in Vanuatu in 1994-1995. He was the only white American (not just white American missionary) on the island most of his mission. Grass skirts and sandals were the norm there. He had great success there.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...


Beats me. That's just what he told me. Perhaps I misheard.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...


Yeah, that's sounds similar to what my friend told me. Both the dress and the dearth of Caucasians. He said he felt alone at times, knowing he was the only white person within a hundred miles (I presume he meant there were others serving in the town on the far side of the island, which he brought up). But he said he loved it, too. He's planning on going back in February, and possibly doing a business venture there in the future.

Johnathan Reese Whiting said...


I do recall a bit more of the conversation, now.

He said it took between a week and a half to two weeks from the investigator starting the discussions to when they could be baptized (which would include the one to two sacrament meeting attendances). I, like you, thought that seemed a a very brief period of time, considering the Church's recent standards of expecting more church attendance before baptism, and particularly the increased expectations in certain parts of the world where the Church is growing rapidly (such as certain parts of Africa, where I've heard upwards of 7 Sunday meeting attendances is required before baptism). Perhaps the Vanuatu mission has exceptional rules?

John Pack Lambert said...

Is Vanuatu in the Fiji Mission? If it is there is a young man from my parents ward who was there as a missionary starting last year. Since his mom was born in Korea he does not technically fit most definitions of white American.

John Pack Lambert said...

I wonder if some places like the DR Congo they have special rules for people who live beyond normal limits of a branch to attend more than a regular minimum. This would make sense to me. On one hand, even if someone comes in from deep in the bush, you do not want to just unilaterally say "you cannot be baptized." It is hard enough to have people on short trips to Kinshasa ask for missionaries in their village and not be able to respond. If they are actually coming to Church, baptizing them would make sense at some point. However we need to see a level of commitment and understanding that will sustain them in what may be a long time until they can be baptized.

Ivy Angeles said...

Best remedy is Aronia berry Canada

James said...

Matt, quick housekeeping item. Unless I am misunderstanding something, the comment above mine (the one by Ivy Angeles) is very likely spam, since what she said had nothing to do with anything under discussion here on this thread. Thanks.