Reaching the Nations

Zimbabwe

By David Stewart and Matt Martinich

Return to Table of Contents

Geography

Area: 390,757 square km.  Nicknamed the breadbasket of Africa, Zimbabwe is landlocked in Southern Africa and borders Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia.  Most of Zimbabwe has a tropical climate modified by high plateaus and some mountains near the border with Mozambique.  The Zambezi River divides Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Drought is a natural hazard.  Environmental issues include deforestation, erosion, pollution, poaching, and inefficient mining practices.  Zimbabwe is administratively divided into eight provinces and two cities with provincial status. 

Population: 12,084,304 (July 2011)

Annual Growth Rate: 4.31% (2011)

Fertility Rate: 3.63 children born per woman (2011)

Life Expectancy: male 49.93 years, female 49.34 years (2011)

Peoples

Shona: 82%

Ndebele: 14%

Other African: 2%

Mixed African and Asian: 1%

White: less than 1%

The majority of Zimbabweans are Shona.  Ndebele are concentrated in the southwest in and around the city of Bulawayo.  Other African and non-African groups mainly come from other nations for employment.

Languages: Shona (81.6%), Ndebele (11.8%), English (1.9%), other (4.7%).  English is the official language and Shona is the national language.  Kalanga, Manyika, and Ndau are most spoken among minority ethnic groups.  Native languages with more than one million speakers include Shona (10.7 million) and Ndebele (1.55 million).

Literacy: 90.7% (2003)

History

Zimbabwe was the site of several ancient kingdoms between the birth of Christ and the arrival of Europeans in the late nineteenth century.  The British South African Company controlled and colonized the area, which was given the name Southern Rhodesia after the British colonist Cecil Rhodes.  Southern Rhodesia was combined with Northern Rhodesia (present day Zambia) and Nyasaland (present day Malawi) to create the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953.  Independence from Great Britain was declared in 1965 but not recognized until 1980.  White, British colonists who remained in the country played a key role in the independence movement from the United Kingdom.  Robert Mugabe came to power in 1987, bringing Zimbabwe into deeper poverty and economic disaster resulting from failed economic policies and land redistribution.  Many of the white colonists fled the country from increased persecution and property confiscation by the regime.  Voting fraud in presidential elections in the 2000s was heavily condemned by the international community.  Morgan Tsvangirai ran for president in 2002 and again in 2008 in opposition to President Mugabe.  In 2008, Tsvangirai gained a plurality of the vote, but Mugabe refused to give up his power.  In 2009 a deal was reached in which Mugabe retained his presidency and Tsvangirai became prime minister. 

Culture 

Zimbabwe maintains much of its African heritage and adopts some British customs due to colonization.  Tea is served in the morning and late afternoon.  Polygamy may be practiced by as much as 75% of the population.[1]  The Shona are known for sculpting large statutes of the gods worshipped by indigenous religions.  Cigarette consumption rates are among the lowest worldwide whereas alcohol consumption rates are lower than the world average. 

Economy

GDP per capita: $400 (2010) [0.84% of US]

Human Development Index: 0.140

Corruption Index: 2.4

Zimbabwe has experienced extreme instability in the economy due to hastily executed land reforms, widespread corruption, and unsound policies leading to the failure of the Zimbabwean Dollar.  Zimbabwe has become one of the neediest countries in the world despite being once one of the most agriculturally productive countries in southern Africa.  The GDP of Zimbabwe has experienced accelerating decline in recent years, plummeting 14.4% in 2008.  The 2008 inflation rate was 11.2 million percent, and unemployment was estimated at 80% in 2005.  Services make up the greatest percentage of the Zimbabwe's GDP, whereas most Zimbabweans work in agriculture.  Zimbabwe overwhelming receives imports from South Africa.   Most exports are to South Africa, other neighboring African countries, Eastern Asia, and Europe. 

Corruption is perceived as widespread and infiltrates all areas of society.  Human trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and force labor is a major concern.  Zimbabwe remains highly vulnerable to continued and worsening conditions for human trafficking due to political and societal instability.  Zimbabwe is a transshipment point for some illicit drugs.

Faiths

Syncretic Christian and Indigenous Beliefs: 50%

Christian: 25%

Indigenous beliefs: 24%

Muslim and Other: 1%

Christians

Denominations  Members  Congregations

Pentecostal/evangelical  5,000,000

Catholic  4,000,000

Anglicans/Methodists/Presbyterians  2,000,000

Seventh Day Adventists  642,486  1,216

Jehovah's Witnesses  38,025  974

Latter-day Saints  18,549  47

Religion

Indigenous beliefs are highly syncretized with Christianity.  Christians may account for as many as 84% of the population according to some estimates.  Many Christian denominations have grown rapidly in Zimbabwe in the last few decades.  Christian churches are more visible in urban areas whereas indigenous beliefs are stronger in rural areas.  Muslims account for fewer than one percent of the population and consist principally of Mozambican and Malawian immigrants.[2] 

Religious Freedom

Persecution Index:

Religious freedom is protected by the constitution and is generally upheld by the government.  Religious leaders critical of the current government have suffered harassment in recent years.  The law states that witchcraft is a crime but prosecution is inconsistently enforced.  Religious groups are not required to register with the government to operate and may apply for tax-exempt status.  Christian prayers are commonly offered in public schools.  In recent years, the government has viewed some Christian missionary groups suspiciously if they had suspected political affiliations.  There have been recent instances of local police disrupting the religious freedom of some Christian denominations, particularly Anglicans.[3] 

Major Cities

Urban: 37%

Harare, Bulawayo, Chitungwiza, Mutare, Gweru, Epworth, Kwekwe, Kadoma, Masvingo, Marondera

All ten of the largest cities have an LDS congregation.  31% of the national population resides in the ten most populous cities.

LDS History

Missionary work in Zimbabwe began as early as 1930 and was followed by sporadic visits until 1950 when eight missionaries were assigned to work in Salisbury [Harare] and Bulawayo.  The first member joined the Church in Zimbabwe in 1951,[4] and the first African member joined in 1965.  Zimbabwean Church membership did not become predominantly black until after the revelation on extending the priesthood and other blessings to all men in 1978.[5]  The Zimbabwe Harare Mission was created in 1987 from the South Africa Johannesburg Mission.  President George T. Brooks of the Zimbabwe Harare Mission was killed in a car accident and his wife was critically injured in 1990.[6]  Zimbabwe was dedicated for missionary work by Elder James E. Faust in October 1991.[7]  LDS apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson visited in 2004.  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland visited the Mutare Zimbabwe District Conference in the fall of 2009.[8]  Zimbabwe has been assigned to the Africa Southeast Area since 1998.

Membership Growth

LDS Membership: 18,549 (2010)

Church membership grew slowly during the first several decades of an LDS presence, increasing from 345 in 1971 to 657 in 1983.  Membership growth accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s as there were 1,300 members in 1987, 5,300 in 1993, 7,400 in 1997, and 8,923 in 2000.

Membership growth continued in the 2000s despite many Zimbabweans leaving the country due to unstable political and economic situation.  Many Zimbabwean members emigrated to South Africa.[9]  Membership increased to 10,655 in 2002, 14,561 in 2004, 16,240 in 2006, 17,241 in 2008, and 18,549 in 2010.  Annual membership growth rates in the 2000s varied from a high of 18.4% in 2003 to a low of 1.6% in 2008 but generally ranged from 4-10%.  In 2010, one in 651 was LDS. 

Congregational Growth

Wards: 23 Branches: 27

There were six branches in 1987.  The number of branches increased to 24 in 1993 and 23 in 1997.  During the mid-1990s, there were two districts operating in Harare and Bulawayo.  The first stake in Zimbabwe was the Harare Zimbabwe Stake and was organized in 1999.  The stake included the following five wards and two branches: The Glenview, Highlands, Mabelreign, Marimba Park, and Tafara Wards and the Highfield and Mbare Branches. At the end of 2000 there were five wards and 23 branches for a total of 28 congregations.  In 2001, the Bulawayo Zimbabwe District had six branches. 

In 2000, an additional district was created in Mutare.  The following year the Mutare Zimbabwe District had five branches, all of which were in the city.[10]  In 2001, mission branches operated in Bindura, Enterprise, Gweru (Gweru, Mboka 2nd, Mboka 3rd), Kadoma, Kwe Kwe, Marondera, and Masvingo.  A third district was organized in Gweru in 2003 from around half a dozen branches in-between Bulawayo and Harare.  In 2005, a second Zimbabwean stake was organized in Bulawayo and in 2008 the third stake was organized in Harare from a division of the Harare Zimbabwe Stake.  During the 2000s congregational growth trends fluctuated from increase to decrease as there were 26 units in 2001, 29 in 2002, 34 in 2003, 42 in 2004, 49 in 2005, 45 in 2006, 44 in 2008, and 47 in 2009.  Declining numbers of congregations during some years in the 2000s resulted from efforts to consolidate branches to form larger congregations in anticipation of creating wards in stakes.  Emigration of active members and convert retention problems were additional causes.  In 2009, three new branches were organized in Harare (1), Bulawayo (1), and Bindura (1).  There were 48 units in 2010 and 47 in early 2011.  In 2011, the Gweru Zimbabwe District became a stake and mission branches operated in Bindura (3), Kadoma, Marondera, and Masvingo.   

Activity and Retention

Large meetings have historically been well attended.  Over 200 members and those learning about the Church attended the dedication of the country for missionary work in 1991.  When President Hinckley visited and spoke to members in Zimbabwe in 1998, 1,500 attended.[11]  In 2004, nearly 2,400 members from the Harare Zimbabwe Stake attended a stake conference when Elder Nelson visited.[12]  Activity rates in Zimbabwe overall appear higher than most African nations, but likely differ from city to city.  When Elder Nelson visited members in the Harare Zimbabwe Stake Conference in 2004, turnout was equivalent to 74% of the stake's membership.  If this percentage of membership were active throughout Zimbabwe, active membership may be as high as 13,000.  However, the average number of members per congregation increased from 319 to 386 between 2000 and 2010 indicating challenges maintaining convert retention rates.  1,581 were enrolled in seminary and institute during the 2009-2010 school year.  The consolidation of several branches in the Mutare Zimbabwe District in 2006 may indicate that retention and inactivity problems or member emigration prevented the continued operation of the branches.  Political instability and economic collapse seem to have most strongly affected activity and retention through the emigration of active membership and leadership, particularly to South Africa.  Most wards appeared to have between 100 and 200 active members in early 2011 whereas most branches likely had between 50 and 100 active members.  Nationwide active membership is estimated at 6,000, or 30-35% of total church membership. 

Language Materials

Languages with LDS Scripture: English, Shona

A limited number of church materials and all LDS scriptures are translated into Shona.  Sections from the Book of Mormon were translated into Shona in 1988 and the full book was translated in 1999.  Hymns, Relief Society, Priesthood, and Sunday School materials are also available in Shona.  Only the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Articles of Faith are available in Ndebele. 

Meetinghouses

A Church-owned meetinghouse is situated next to the mission home for the Zimbabwe Harare Mission.  Some stake conferences in the past have been held in large rented meeting halls due to the lack of a large enough building to accommodate church membership into one body.  Other meeting places include a mixture of church-built meetinghouse, renovated buildings used as chapels, and rented spaces for newer or smaller congregations. 

Health and Safety

Tropical diseases including malaria are endemic and health care infrastructure is poor. Clean water and sanitary food may be unavailable in areas.  Violence from political turmoil threatens missionary activities.  Mission president deaths in Africa in 1990 and 2007 from car accidents indicate danger in driving from poorly maintained roadways, reckless driving and lax traffic regulations.  Corrupt law enforcement sometimes demands bribes for passage.    The Church has been reluctant to send more missionaries to Zimbabwe due to health and safety issues. 

Humanitarian and Development Work

Humanitarian work has been conducted by the Church in Zimbabwe for many years.  In 1988, members in the Eastern United States donated over 100,000 books to Zimbabwe.[13]  Latter-Day Saint Charities worked with other aid organizations in literacy and development projects in the 1990s.[14]  When flooding struck the region in 2000 the Church sent 1.3 million U.S. dollars worth in aid supplies to Mozambique and Zimbabwe.[15]  Additional aid was sent in 2002.[16]  The Church has concentrated on building Zimbabweans self reliance and employment opportunities through employment workshops and community gardens.[17]  This has resulted with Zimbabwean members involved in starting their own business and contributing to the country's economic development on a local level.[18]  The Church donated 500 wheelchairs to the Zimbabwean government in 2004.[19]  The Church held a luncheon meeting for Zimbabwean government official to introduce LDS beliefs to them and explain the different humanitarian programs undertaken in the country in 2009.[20]

 

Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects

Religious Freedom

No government regulations limit or restrict proselyting; however, proselyting in some cases experienced de facto limitations due to instability and safety issues.

Cultural Issues

Overall Zimbabweans are receptive to the LDS Church and other missionary-oriented Christians due to the acceptance of Christianity and interest in religion exhibited by society.  Declining LDS membership growth in the late 2000s appeared due to economic and political turmoil resulting in the emigration of active members.  Zimbabweans moving to South Africa for better living conditions may be another potential reason for the slowing growth in membership.  Lesser emphasis on missionary work and greater focus on meeting the temporal needs of members through community gardens and employment workshops may be a reason for declining membership growth.  Efforts to expand LDS national outreach have likely been deterred due to doctrinal integrity issues considering the high amount of syncretism between indigenous beliefs and Christianity.  Most of Zimbabwean Christians retain many of their indigenous beliefs some of which are in conflict with Church teachings.  The Shona place much emphasis on their ancestors and use alcohol in ceremonies,[21] which oppose LDS teachings.  At present, LDS outreach is almost completed limited to urban areas where the practice of indigenous beliefs is less common.  Those engaged in a polygamous relationship must end these relations in divorce prior and be interviewed by a member of the mission presidency in order to be considered for baptism in the LDS Church.

National Outreach

Zimbabwe experienced moderate rates of LDS mission outreach in Africa as one LDS mission services 12 million people and all ten of the most populous cities have an LDS congregation.  28% of the national population resides in a city with an LDS congregation.  Of the eight administrative provinces in Zimbabwe, only Matabeleland North and South Provinces, with a combined population of 1.35 million, or about 12% of the population, do not have a church presence.  Masvingo Province in southeastern Zimbabwe has 1.3 million inhabitants but only one LDS congregation in the provincial capital of Masvingo.  These three provinces have a non-existent or extremely limited Church presence likely due to their small, predominately rural populations and distance from mission headquarters in Harare.  Other Zimbabwean provinces have a greater church presence, but contain vast rural areas without a congregation.  As of mid-2011, there were no independent LDS congregations operating in rural areas, which were populated by 63% of the national population. 

Doctrinal integrity concerns, transportation issues, low standards of living, missionary resources focusing on districts becoming stakes, and severe economic and political instability have contributed to the lack of LDS outreach in rural areas and no additional cities opening for missionary work since the early 2000s.  Emigration of active members and local leaders has further challenged efforts to expand national outreach as mission leadership has needed to tend to fill empty leadership positions created by emigration.  Progress has occurred expanding outreach in Harare and Bulawayo in recent years as additional congregations have been organized in lesser-reached areas of these cities.  Forming dependent branches and groups in these locations may facilitate congregational growth over the long term.    

Member Activity and Convert Retention

Member activity appears highest in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo, as both have stakes and Harare has reportedly high attendance at stake conferences in the past decade.  The displacement of many members as a result of political and economic turmoil and difficulty finding lost members appear to be the primary causes of member activity and convert retention problems today.  Overall pre-baptismal teaching, fellowshipping, and member missionary efforts appear adequate and do not appear to have adversely affected activity rates.  Inactivity and poor convert retention appear more prevalent in areas where local leadership is less developed and is a reason for why the Mutare Zimbabwe District has not matured into a stake.  The organization of additional congregations closer to members' homes may improve activity rates and accelerate congregational growth.  The number of members enrolled in seminary and institute in the late 2000s was stable and did not increase commensurately with membership growth, possibly indicating some convert retention challenges.

Ethnic Issues and Integration

Tensions exist between the Ndebele in western Zimbabwe and the Shona.  The Shona majority often discriminates the Ndebele, especially in government affairs.  The Ndebele desire greater autonomy over the areas in which they live.  Despite British colonialism which lasted in the region for nearly a century, these two ethnic groups have had little assimilation.  Violence between the Shona and Ndebele was most extreme in the 1980s following official independence when the government became dominated by the Shona majority.[22]  Congregations of Shona and Ndebele members are usually segregated due to differences in language and location.  Most Ndebele members live in Bulawayo and have little association with Shona members.  Differences in language and location lessen the demands on the Church for integrating these rival ethnic groups into the same congregation.  It does not appear that ethnic differences have presented significant fellowshipping problems in an ecclesiastical setting.  Other smaller ethnic groups do not appear to have as much conflict as the Shona and Ndebele.  The Church has not had many members from among the smaller ethnic groups due to their geographical isolation and small numbers.

Language Issues

The majority of Zimbabweans speak Shona, Ndebele, and English.  The small number of widely-spoken languages greatly simplifies missionary work in the native languages compared to many other African nations.  Many Zimbabwean congregations have meetings conducted in Shona and English or, in Bulawayo, in Ndebele and English. 

Few Church materials and no LDS scriptures are available in Ndebele.  Since the Bulawayo Zimbabwe Stake has many speakers of Ndebele, additional translations may be produced in the future.  Additional church materials in Ndebele could facilitate the Church's establishment in unreached Matabeleland North and South Provinces.  Other minority languages such as Kalanga, Manyika, and Ndau have under a million speakers each.  These languages will likely not have translations of church materials until membership grows in greater numbers and among native speakers.

Missionary Service

The LDS Church Zimbabwe is self-sufficient in staffing its local missionary needs and is a significant source of African missionaries for the Africa Southeast Area.  The first Zimbabwean senior couple missionaries were called to serve in 2000.  The senior couple had served in various leadership positions in the Church and had established a family which actively participated in Church meetings and leadership.[23]  Missionaries from Zimbabwe began receiving training in the Brazil MTC in 2005.[24]  Non-African missionaries continue to serve in Zimbabwe despite political instability and economic collapse.  Local leadership appears instrumental in preparing youth and young adults for serving full-time missions and is a model to other African nations which struggle to meet their own missionary needs.

Leadership

When Elder Nelson visited in late 2004, over 250 attended the priesthood session of the Harare Stake Conference.[25]  This indicates that there are a large number of Zimbabwean men actively involved in the Church at least in the Harare stakes.  Missionaries serving in South Africa have noted that many Zimbabwean members  and leaders have left the country due to instability.  Some of these members served in church leadership in Zimbabwe, indicating that the local church may suffer from strong, active members regularly leaving to find better living conditions in South Africa.  Notwithstanding persistent economic challenges, the LDS Church in Zimbabwe is able to support four stakes with fewer than 20,000 members nationwide.  Returned missionaries appear to comprise a significant portion of local leadership.

Welfare

Church growth and expansion are often limited when people do not have their basic humanitarian needs met.  Challenges with self reliance and employment have not only limited membership growth but also member retention and spiritual growth.  In order to maintain doctrinal integrity and assist in local leadership development, both of the first stake presidents in Harare and Bulawayo where employed by the Church in teaching seminary and institute.  Their counselors were employed elsewhere.  Friction may exist between leaders employed by the Church and members who do not have employment.  Methods by which the Church addresses difficult economic conditions include emphasizing education, planting community gardens and employment workshops. 

Temple

Zimbabwe is assigned to the Johannesburg South Africa Temple District, and temple excursions have periodically occurred since the temple's dedication in 1985.[26]  Travel to the temple in South Africa is difficult due to crossing the international border and past challenges with Zimbabweans fleeing into South Africa in search for employment and peace.  Members are hopeful that a garden spot reportedly near the Zimbabwe Harare Mission home and chapel may become the site of a future temple.[27]  Membership and activity in Zimbabwe appear strong enough to support a temple, but issues with poverty and self-reliance among Zimbabwean membership have likely taken precedence. 

Comparative Growth

Zimbabwe has seen arguably slower growth than most African countries with a Church presence predating 1980; Namibia is the only nation the Church entered before 1980 with fewer members today.  Both Ghana and Nigeria had a Church presence established in the late 1970s; membership at the end of 2008 was 38,224 in Ghana and 88,374 in Nigeria.  However, both Ghana and Nigeria have multiple missions (two in Ghana, five in Nigeria), much larger populations, and many areas of those countries remain entirely without LDS mission outreach.  Some other African nations with a church presence for just over twenty years have experienced more rapid growth than Zimbabwe. Church presence was first established in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the mid-1980s, and at the end of 2008 there were nearly 21,000 members.  The Church has achieved a higher percentage of membership to population in Zimbabwe than in most other African nations, and national outreach is significantly more penetrating with congregations in all ten of the most populous cities.  In 2010, Zimbabwe ranked sixth among countries with the highest church membership without a temple. 

Jehovah's Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists have experienced strong growth in Zimbabwe for decades.  These and other Christian denominations have operated in Zimbabwe for decades longer than the LDS Church.  Seventh Day Adventist growth in Zimbabwe has been very rapid, with those affiliated with the Church totaling around five percent of the population.  Many Protestant churches have seen rapid growth also.  It appears that many Christian Zimbabweans retain many of their traditional religious beliefs, and syncretism remains a major problem.  Adherents of various denominations differ in the depth and conviction to Christianity.

Future Prospects

As indicated by the presence of four stakes, moderate levels of national outreach, and the third-highest ratio of LDS members to population in Africa, Zimbabwe has established a strong membership and leadership foundation capable of sustaining rapid future membership growth.  Although membership growth has slowed in Zimbabwe in the late 2000s, this is likely a temporary trend due to severe economic and political turmoil. 

The greatest growth in membership and congregations will likely continue to occur in the largest cities already opened for missionary work in Zimbabwe due to the size of their populations and established church infrastructure.  Although additional wards have not been created in Harare since the mid-2000s, several new branches have been organized in the city which will likely eventually mature into wards.  Additional stakes could be created in Harare in coming years.  The stake in Bulawayo continues to grow in membership and congregations and may be divided in the coming years as it currently has eight wards and a couple branches.  The Mutare Zimbabwe District may become a stake in the near future.  With all of the potential stakes in Zimbabwe, the number of stakes could increase to eight by 2015.

Few additional districts appear likely to be organized in the near future, as there has been little recent expansion into other cities without a Church presence.  The most likely cities in Zimbabwe to receive a district in the coming years are Bindura (where there are three mission branches) and Masvingo if additional branches are created in the city.

The Church may also begin to expand into the rural areas of Zimbabwe as it is established in most of the largest cities and economic and political stability returns.  Areas which appear most likely for a future church presence include smaller cities near existing centers, especially around Bulawayo and Harare. 


[1]  "Zimbabwe," Social Institutions and Gender Index, retrieved 11 May 2011.  http://genderindex.org/country/zimbabwe

[2]  "Zimbabwe," International Religious Freedom Report 2010, 17 November 2010.  http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148729.htm

[3]  "Zimbabwe," International Religious Freedom Report 2010, 17 November 2010.  http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2010/148729.htm

[4]  "Zimbabwe," Country Profile, retrieved 11 May 2011.  http://newsroom.lds.org/country/zimbabwe

[5]  Fidel, Steve.  "Zimbabwe pioneers take front row seats at historic occasion," LDS Church News, 28 February 1998.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/30651/Zimbabwe-pioneers-take-front-row-seats-at-historic-occasion.html

[6]  "Mission president in Zimbabwe killed, wife injured in car accident," LDS Church News, 4 August 1990.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/20363/Mission-president-in-Zimbabwe-killed-wife-injured-in-car-accident.html

[7]  "Three nations dedicated in Africa," LDS Church News, 23 November 1991.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/21541/Three-nations-dedicated-in-Africa.html

[8]  "Dedication blesses two African nations," LDS Church News, 5 September 2009.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/57850/Dedication-blesses-two-African-nations.html

[9]  Hart, John L.  "Durban, South Africa," LDS Church News, 6 June 1998.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/31359/Durban-South-Africa.html

[10]  "New stake presidencies," LDS Church News, 22 January 2000.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/37069/New-stake-presidencies.html

[11]  Fidel, Steve.  "Zimbabwe pioneers take front row seats at historic occasion," LDS Church News, 28 February 1998.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/30651/Zimbabwe-pioneers-take-front-row-seats-at-historic-occasion.html

[12]  Stahle, Shaun D.  "Growing strength among members in Africa," LDS Church News, 4 December 2004.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/46547/Growing-strength-among-members-in-Africa.html

[13]  "Stacks of books bound for Africa," LDS Church News, 26 March 1988.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/17937/Stacks-of-books-bound-for-Africa.html

[14]  Dockstader, Julie A.  "Lifetime of literacy manifest through service," LDS Church News, 17 July 1999.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/36074/Lifetime-of-literacy-manifest-through-service.html

[15]  Dockstader, Julie A.  "Church ships flood aid to Africa," LDS Church News, 11 March 2000.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/37312/Church-ships-flood-aid-to-Africa.html

[16]  "$1 million donation to relieve suffering in Africa," LDS Church News, 27 July 2002.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/42179/1-million-donation-to-relieve-suffering-in-Africa.html

[17]  Jensen, Elder Karl S.; Jensen, Sister Dixie.  "Self-employment workshops help participants find success," LDS Church News, 21 August 2004.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/46024/Self-employment-workshops-help-participants-find-success.html

[18]  Weaver, Sarah Jane.  "Teaching principles of provident living," LDS Church News, 21 August 2004.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/46015/Teaching-principles-of-provident-living.html

[19]  "Donating wheelchairs to Zimbabwe," LDS Church News, 16 October 2004.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/46359/Donating-wheelchairs-to-Zimbabwe.html

[20]  Jackson, Elder Eric.  "Forming friendships with government officials in Africa," LDS Church News, 28 August 2009.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/57832/Forming-friendships-with-government-officials-in-Africa.html

[21]  "Shona - Religion and Expressive Culture," Countries and Their Cultures, retrieved 11 May 2011.  http://www.everyculture.com/Africa-Middle-East/Shona-Religion-and-Expressive-Culture.html

[22]  "Assessment for Ndebele in Zimbabwe," Refworld, retrieved 11 May 2011.  http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,MARP,,ZWE,,469f3aeb14,0.html

[23]  "Couple's talents fit varied needs of mission, country," LDS Church News, 24 February 2001.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/39391/Couples-talents-fit-varied-needs-of-mission-country.html

[24]  Soli, Ana Claudia.  "'Happiest place' is Brazil's MTC," LDS Church News, 7 January 2006.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/48352/Happiest-place-is-Brazils-MTC.html

[25]  "Donating wheelchairs to Zimbabwe," LDS Church News, 16 October 2004.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/46359/Donating-wheelchairs-to-Zimbabwe.html

[26]  Haight, David B.  "Elder Haight: Gratitude and service," LDS Church News, 1 April 2001.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/39701/Elder-Haight-Gratitude-and-service.html

[27]  Fidel, Steve.  "Zimbabwe pioneers take front row seats at historic occasion," LDS Church News, 28 February 1998.  http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/30651/Zimbabwe-pioneers-take-front-row-seats-at-historic-occasion.html