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Posted by: bender ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 01:15AM

No new U.S. missionaries are entering Brazil due to visa problems. So it's left for Brazilian missionaries to pick up the slack. No problem, right? After all the Mormon church brags about having more than 1 million members, and hundreds of stakes in Brazil. Getting a few thousand missionaries out of there should be a piece of cake.

Intead the missionary effort there is fading away. The Brazilian MTC, built to hold 700, currently has only 60 missionaries. Many branches that depend on missionaries for leadership are in danger of closing. And in a desperate effort to get more Brazilians to go on missions, The church lowered the mission age to 18 there. It's not looking so good for the country with the second biggest church presence after the U.S. Hmmmm, could it be that most of the rapid church growth there is just on paper?

Here's a link from the Trib with the story
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51121821-76/brazil-missionaries-lds-visa.html.csp#

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Posted by: OSU ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 01:22AM

I can't tell you how happy this makes me :)

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 01:52AM

Thanks, Bender!

A million members? MTC for 700, but has 60? Missionaries needed to lead hundreds of branches, most of which are barely alive?

That's pretty cool...

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Posted by: loveskids ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 01:56AM

Very,very cool. Everybody cross your fingers.

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Posted by: Mateo Pastor ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 04:44PM

hello Wrote:

> A million members? MTC for 700, but has 60?
> Missionaries needed to lead hundreds of branches,
> most of which are barely alive?

Same story everywhere. Brazil, Europe, Asia, Australia, you name it. Oh it is wonderful to me ;)

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Posted by: Heresy ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 01:59AM

going someplace exotic on their missions and now terribly disappointed with the church as well. One can only hope their feelings are contagious.

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Posted by: GenY ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 02:53AM

the mission call letters to the hopeful, Brazilian bound missionaries, the Lord forgot to inform him that they wouldn't be serving there anyway due to Visa troubles.

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Posted by: Jon ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 03:02AM

I wonder if this is the reason behind the concerted effort to rubbish the Great Lakes model location for the Book of Mormon and place it firmly in Mesoamerica?

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Posted by: EssexExMo ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 03:44PM

Brazil is to mesoamaerica as Canada is to mesoamerica

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 03:44AM

I don't know, but it would sure fit their current game plan.

US and Canadian natives have rejected the corp., and growth is found mainly among Latino immigrants. I'm sure the GA's are licking their lips over Latin America.

Ah, grand dreams...

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Posted by: Jon ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 04:27AM

I think the Church accountants have done their five year projections and they don't look good.

The symptoms:
Deseret news downsized
Janitors worldwide laid off
City Creek condo's prices slashed by 50%
Ward budgeting rehashed
Lessons teaching to be self reliant and not depend on Church welfare
The insignificant amounts spent on helping the poor and the needy

The actions:
Ward focus on temple attendance
We need more missionaries to recruit more members
We need more inscribed brought back to Church

The actions are geared towards getting in tithing.

Three fold mission of the Church
1. Perfect the Saints - by getting them to the temple which means they will pay tithing
2. Preach the Gospel - more members means more tithing
3. Redeem the dead - more redeeming means more tithing

It's all about the money

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Posted by: anagrammy ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 10:24PM

Remember they just added a #4 - Charitable aid. They used the exact phrase required to qualify as a non-profit church. Hmmm. A little tax trouble on top of decreased income on top of $$$$$ going out in sex abuse settlements (gotta keep the crap out of the paper).

It's my personal wet dream to see something happen that would require the church to open the books. In my imagination, there's embezzlement, extortion, payoffs, all kinds of shenanigans that would show up.

I think when this all crumbles we should have a big Tipping Point party in Salt Lake City!

Open bar!

Anagrammy

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Posted by: american jesus ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 09:13AM

Jon is pretty much spot on. My Stake's focus this year is Shephearding to the Temple and the focus right now is 100% on getting people to the Temple and missionary work.

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Posted by: dimmesdale ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 09:26AM

it seems like a temporary thing.
Already they are funneling new missionaries from other states into the Brazil tunnel so as to avoid this problem. I don't see it lasting too long.

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 02:35PM

Applying for the Utah and west coast visas thru LA used to work ok for them. Why not now?

I doubt the Brasilian embassy cut staff. The Trib page does not say they have cut staff. And the Mos didn't suddenly start sending in many times more applications, in a new "rush", as implied in the article. So what, really, is creating this backup? Sounds like Morg spin to me.

The problem actually mentioned sounds more realistic. Brasil is annoyed by the ill treatment of the US on visas. So they give the trouble back to American applicants. When will this situation change? Maybe not until "Homeland Security" changes their policy on Brasil. Knowing Homeland Security, it could be a while before they change.

LDS informant in the Trib article says:
"The new system was not thought out as well as it should have been,” Neeleman said. “There are too few people dealing with the rush of visa applications, which is overwhelming.”

What "new system" is he referring to here? The article doesn't elaborate on this. Why should there be a "rush" of apps? What would cause that? Sounds like spin.

"He has suggested that, until the problem is resolved, the LDS Church call its Brazil-bound missionaries not from Utah but from other states such as Idaho, Illinois and Indiana, which don’t have to get their visas through Los Angeles."

According to the article, this is only this guy's suggestion. There is no mention that TSCC is doing this as yet. And Illinois and Indiana don't produce the 3000 mishies a year needed for Brasil. Idaho may work for them, if they call every and all the prospective missionaries in Idaho to Brasil. Which would be a hoot!

The fact that the problem has continued at all indicates that they don't have a solution as yet. And the lack of missionaries from Brasil is the telling thing. Why so few missionaries from over a million members? How many missionaries does a million Utah-based LDS produce per year? No comparison.

TSCC in Brasil doesn't sound very healthy at all. So the reported "growth" there is revealed as just the usual Latin America "quick-dunk" "harvest", with little productive retention.

I'd like to see the tithing receipts from the million members of Brasil, compared to Utah!

And of course, all this is time sensitive. Even if they fix the problem, damage is done. Branches with no leadership will lose activity, and it will be hard to get the newly inactive branch members interested in returning, after they have had time off from attendance, and have gotten used to a new routine on Sundays. That's a big bucket of cold water.

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Posted by: Steven ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 09:28AM

I think we are seeing a slow unraveling of TSCC, brought on by the information age. The cult cannot no longer manipulate history and details about its dark underbelly. You can only sugar coat so much. Its like polishing and perfuming a big stinky terd.

I am surprised that the mighty profit didn't foresee this tragedy before it happened. Surely Jesus told him to "plan" better for this?

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Posted by: imalive ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 08:40PM

I totally agree with you. The more I study the REAL history of the church, the less I like.

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Posted by: Stray Mutt ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 02:59PM

...the visa problem is retaliation for some dick-ish US policy. If the LDS caucus on capital hill had any power, they could get the policy changed.

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Posted by: Stunted ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 02:58PM

The stability of the church in Brazil is threatened simply because the church can't get new missionaries on the ground? As others have pointed out, there can't be much stability at all if it's dependent on a continual flow of "elders".

I'm laughing over this one.

Stunted

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Posted by: almostgone ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 03:21PM

Not a new problem... I had to wait for my visa 20+ years ago. The issue is that the Brasilian visa requirement are exactly the same as the US visa requirements for Brasilian people.

Typical tit 4 tat. And the LA consulate has always been extremely slow processing visas.

Hell we had a "special" fast while in the MTC so that our visas would be processed on time. Alas, 2 months in Philly waiting before mine was approved.

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 04:24PM

bender Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No new U.S. missionaries are entering Brazil due
> to visa problems. So it's left for Brazilian
> missionaries to pick up the slack. No problem,
> right? After all the Mormon church brags about
> having more than 1 million members, and hundreds
> of stakes in Brazil. Getting a few thousand
> missionaries out of there should be a piece of
> cake.
>
> Intead the missionary effort there is fading away.
> The Brazilian MTC, built to hold 700, currently
> has only 60 missionaries. Many branches that
> depend on missionaries for leadership are in
> danger of closing. And in a desperate effort to
> get more Brazilians to go on missions, The church
> lowered the mission age to 18 there. It's not
> looking so good for the country with the second
> biggest church presence after the U.S. Hmmmm,
> could it be that most of the rapid church growth
> there is just on paper?
>
> Here's a link from the Trib with the story
> http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51121821-76/braz
> il-missionaries-lds-visa.html.csp#

Was that rapid or rabid growth? ;o))

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Posted by: student ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 08:46PM

Next they'll start having 18 year olds serve 3 year missions. Do the 'sisters' have to wait 'till they're 20? Awesome, awesome, awesome. And as I understand it, other denominations are growing there (not that I'm happy with the spread of fairy tales of any sort) which shows the COCLDS isn't even growing in an area where the field is ripe.

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Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 10:13PM

I think the woman they quote whose daughter was supposed to go to Brazil, then went to the MTC in Provo and when her visa came through she had to go the next day, is my cousin. But my question is this: If they are saying that "the church" should call missionaries to Brazil from Eastern states, what does that say about the whole sham of the mission calls being inspired by Almighty God? I have a nephew called to Mexico in August who's visa just came through a couple weeks ago and has been twiddling his thumbs in Arizona, losing what little language ability he'd attained in the MTC. Inspired, I tell ya.

Another problem in Brazil is that of the four American missionaries I know personally who have been called to Brazil in the past few years, three have come home early. Sounds like they have a big time retention problem all around. Yup... In-spi-ration!

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Posted by: Jim Huston ( )
Date: January 26, 2011 10:42PM

I was there in 1978-1980. I was on a temporary tourist visa. I was also selected to be a temple officiator when the Sao Paulo temple opened because there were not enough "white" members to fill the positions. I am so happy to see that they are failing.

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Posted by: gentlestrength ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 02:24PM

"The church has "a long, congenial history with Brazil and its people," spokesman Scott Trotter said, "and we'll continue to work through the ebb and flow of the visa process."


And I will add

Except for that 148 year fleck of history where Mormon doctrine taught that people of African ancestry (dark skin) were cursed of God from pre-birth spirit transgressions.

I'm not sure thy claim they ever taught that anymore, no wait, they still do. Thy just don't tell prospective converts, media, and outsiders that doctrine.

Brazil and Brazilians deserve much better than Mormonism. Hell, they should be sending "how to enjoy being human" missionaries to Utah County and Cache Valley.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/21/2013 02:58PM by gentlestrength.

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Posted by: antimarkite ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 02:56PM

I spent nearly a third of my mission in Brasil as a Branch President. Can't say how many times that little venture just about fell apart. I recently got in contact with a few of those folks on facebook and was told (I will grant they may have just been trying to be nice) that I am still credited as the missionary who held it together and got things turned in the right direction... Doah!

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Posted by: dk ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 03:23PM

Could it be Brazilians don't want to pay to go on missions? If they need teenagers from the US to keep the church going, then they really do have problems there.

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Posted by: anon for this comment ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 03:39PM

Why do they only have 60 Brazilian missionaries in the brazilian MTC? That seems like an incredibly low number for all of the members they claim to have. Who's running the MTC? Brazilians?

Sounds to me like the Brazilian politicians aren't so hot to have a boat load of Mormons hanging out in their country.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 03:55PM

The Trib article is 2 1/2 years old.

Have things changed since then?

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Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 03:58PM

PLEASE NOTE: The Trib article is over two years old! From February 2011!

Does anyone have more current information?

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Posted by: freebird ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 04:01PM

Wait, is this recent? I know a girl that is leaving for Brazil or I guess the MTC in 2 weeks. So she's not going to be able to?

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Posted by: anonow ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 04:40PM

From a more current article:

The church has already created 58 new missions, including several in Brazil and Mexico.

http://www.standard.net/stories/2013/06/09/policy-change-has-led-more-mormon-missionaries-ever

If they are having a problem in Brazil why would they create more missions there?

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Posted by: Cynthia ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 05:33PM

A friend of mine told me she had a granddaughter waiting for her visa to go to Brazil, she is at the visitor's center in Independence for now.

My friend said that Brazil might change their requirements and want proof of religious training in order for missionaries to get a visa. She also said Argentina is following right behind Brazil in this.

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Posted by: dogblogger ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 05:45PM

Cynthia Wrote:

> My friend said that Brazil might change their
> requirements and want proof of religious training
> in order for missionaries to get a visa. She also
> said Argentina is following right behind Brazil in
> this.

That's what the High School Seminary program is about. I'm told that it's a common requirement in South American Countries. Don't want to go to South America on a Mission? Don't graduate from Seminary. I know a kid in my ward who did that on purpose. He got sent to France.

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Posted by: nlocnil ( )
Date: June 21, 2013 05:41PM

This article is from 2011.

Any update?

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