|New missions bring total to 347 New missions|
New missions in Europe, Africa, Caribbean and realignment in Japan
The continued growth of the Church, and the desire for
priesthood leaders to further strengthen members and leaders throughout
the world, has prompted the creation of new missions in Europe, Africa
and the Caribbean, and the realignment
of four missions in Japan.
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have
approved the creation of three missions — the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk
Mission, the Sierra Leone Freetown Mission and the Puerto Rico San Juan
East Mission. This brings the total
number of missions to 347.
Baptismal services mark the continual growth of the Church in Sierra Leone.
Photo by Julie Markham
The missions in Japan will be realigned in early March. The new missions will open between now and early July.
In Japan, the boundaries of the Hiroshima, Nagoya and Tokyo missions are being realigned.
Portions of the Japan Tokyo North Mission and Japan
Tokyo South Mission are being consolidated and will be known as the
Japan Tokyo Mission. The newly aligned Japan Tokyo Mission will be
concentrated around the greater Tokyo
metropolitan area and its 10 stakes.
The Japan Kobe Mission will include the Osaka-Kobe area, with its four stakes and another stake in nearby Kyoto. It is one
of three areas in Japan with multiple stakes in a metropolitan area.
The Church in eastern Ukraine has grown to the point
that it is now beyond the capacity of one mission president to
San Juan, Puerto Rico, glistens in Caribbean sunlight.
Photo by Rebecca Black
The creation of the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission
from the Donetsk mission will allow the mission president and
missionaries to concentrate on strengthening existing branches and
expand into other large cities located within reasonable
commuting distances of Dnepropetrovsk.
President Dale E. Anderson of the Donetsk mission
anticipates strengthened leadership for central Ukraine with a new
mission. "We'll be able to better serve the area," he said.
"The local leaders are marvelous, faithful people.
The Church is doing well in Ukraine," he continued. "Converts are
faithful and retention is good."
In the Africa West Area, the Sierra Leone Freetown
Mission was created from a division of the Ghana Accra Mission.
The countries of Togo and Benin will also be
transferred from the Ghana Cape Coast Mission to the Ghana Accra
The new mission will combine neighboring countries to
reduce travel and administrative demands. Priesthood leaders will have
more opportunity to care for new members and to conduct Church affairs
in this area, which is among the most
productive in the world.
There are approximately 38,000 members in the three
missions of Ghana Accra, Ghana Cape Coast and Sierra Leone Freetown,
with 10,000 in the Freetown mission.
Towering buildings and
masses of people are typical sight in Tokyo.
Photo by Greg Hill
In the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico San Juan East
Mission has been created from a division of the Puerto Rico San Juan
and West Indies missions.
Russell Hansen, Elder Adam Wardell, Aleksey Shakalov, President Dale E.
Anderson, Sister Lorraine Morgan and Elder Lynn Morgan pose outside
Photo by Ukraine Donetsk Mission
The current Puerto Rico San Juan Mission includes the
island of Puerto Rico, the U. S. and British Virgin Islands, and the
islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
The West Indies Mission includes the remaining
islands in the Lesser Antilles and the neighboring South American
countries of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
The division of these two missions will create the
Puerto Rico San Juan West Mission, renamed from the Puerto Rico San
Juan Mission. The mission headquarters will be centered in San Juan and
the mission will cover the western half of
Puerto Rico. It will also include the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and
The new Puerto Rico San Juan East Mission will also
be centered in San Juan and will contain the two stakes and one
district in eastern Puerto Rico, as well as the English-speaking
countries of the Virgin Islands, British Virgin
Islands, Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda,
Montserrat, Dominica and Barbados.
The current West Indies Mission will remain
headquartered in Trinidad and will be renamed the Trinidad and Tobago
Mission. It will cover all of the French- and Dutch-speaking countries
and islands in the Caribbean Area and will continue
to oversee English-speaking Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Grenada, St.
Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The French-speaking areas are Guadeloupe, Martinique,
French Guiana, and St. Martin. The Dutch-speaking areas include
Suriname and the northern islands of the Netherlands Antilles,
including St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.
The new mission will reduce travel demands and allow
the mission president more contact with missionaries and local
Section: Church News