The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the opening of 36 new missions.
The new missions will help “accommodate rising numbers of missionaries (now at more than 72,000),” according to a Church news release. Church leaders will redraw boundaries to create the new missions out of existing missions.
The new missions will be open and operating beginning July 1, 2024. With the additions, the total number of missions will be 450, the highest number in Church history.
Newly announced missions include:
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa South
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kolwezi
Ghana Accra North
Kenya Nairobi East
Nigeria Port Harcourt North
Sierra Leone Bo
Cambodia Phnom Penh East
Thailand Bangkok East
Philippines General Santos
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo North
México Puebla East
South Carolina Charleston
Texas Dallas South
Texas El Paso
Utah Salt Lake City East
Utah Saratoga Springs
Utah Spanish Fork
Bolivia Cochabamba South
Brazil Manaus South
Chile La Serena
Ecuador Quito West
Perú Lima Northeast
The Church’s most recently released data on missionary service reported more than 72,000 missionaries are currently serving around the world. This number includes the nearly 5,300 senior missionaries on a mission. Missionaries serve in more than 150 countries, teaching in more than 60 languages.
Church leaders attribute this increase to President Russell M. Nelson and his focus on missionary work.
“We are incredibly grateful for the response we have seen by so many young people to our beloved Prophet’s clarion call for missionary service in April of last year,” Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve said, who also chairs the Church’s Missionary Executive Council.
In the April 2022 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the prophet gave a talk titled “Preaching the Gospel of Peace.” President Nelson encouraged every young able-bodied person to consider missionary service.
“Dear young friends, you are each vital to the Lord. He has held you in reserve until now to help gather Israel. Your decision to serve a mission, whether a proselyting or a service mission, will bless you and many others,” President Nelson said.
In 2021 the Church reported that there were 56,000 missionaries serving at the end of the year. In 2022 there were 62,500 missionaries. The number grew by nearly 10,000 from 2022 to 2023.
The announcement of new missions also follows closely behind a recent push for senior missionaries. In the October 2023 General Conference, Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve encouraged older couples and individuals to serve as senior missionaries in his talk titled, “How Great Will Be Your Joy.”
“We are grateful to you seniors for the lives you have led and the examples you have been in your homes, wards, and stakes,” Elder Rasband said. “I now invite you to take your know-how, coupled with your time-honored testimonies, and go on a mission.”
The Church believes the creation of new missions will also give mission leaders and missionaries more opportunities to interact with each other and the community.