“New Mission in Bulgaria,” Ensign, Aug. 1991, 76
The First Presidency has announced the formation of the Bulgaria Sofia Mission, the fifth to be created in eastern Europe. As of July, when it opened, there were 268 missions in the Church, thirty-seven of which are in Europe.
The five other missions recently created in eastern Europe include the Germany Berlin, Finland Helsinki East, Czechoslovakia Prague, Hungary Budapest, and Poland Warsaw missions.
Bulgaria has a population of nine million people. Fifty are members of the Church.
Kiril P. Kiriakov, a native of Preslav, Bulgaria, and his wife, Nevenka, have been called to preside over the new mission. President Kiriakov, a retired dentist, is from the Manassas First Ward of the Fairfax Virginia Stake.
Missionaries have been serving in Bulgaria since September 1990, assigned from the Austria Vienna East Mission. Before the Bulgaria mission opened in July, ten elders, four sisters, and two couples were serving there.
“Missionaries are well accepted in Bulgaria,” reports former Austria Vienna East Mission president Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, sustained as a member of the Seventy in April general conference. “They are having a tremendous effect there.”
Great political change in that part of Europe has allowed people to be more open in their curiosity about religion, and many Church members are sharing the gospel freely with their friends.
Elder Neuenschwander adds, “The government ministers are happy for an organization that represents honesty, morality, integrity—the kinds of things Bulgarians are searching for.”