Friday, February 22, 2013

58 New Missions to be Created for a Grand Total of 405 Missions Worldwide

The Church made an official announcement today that 58 new missions would be created worldwide in July 2013.  Below is a list of the new missions from an official church news release.  I will provide an analysis of today's announcement later today.

Angola Luanda
Argentina Comodoro Rivadavia
Argentina Posadas
Arizona Gilbert
Arizona Scottsdale
Australia Sydney North
Bolivia Santa Cruz North
Botswana Gaborone
Brazil Curitiba South
Brazil Fortaleza East
Brazil Juiz de Fora
Brazil Natal
Brazil Piracicaba
Brazil Santos
Brazil São Paulo West
California Bakersfield
California Irvine
California Rancho Cucamonga
Chile Santiago South
Colorado Fort Collins
Ecuador Guayaquil West
Ecuador Quito North
El Salvador San Salvador East
Georgia Macon
Ghana Accra West
Guatemala Cobán
Honduras San Pedro Sula West
Idaho Nampa
Idaho Twin Falls
Illinois Chicago West
Japan Tokyo South
Kansas Wichita
Korea Seoul South
Liberia Monrovia
México Cancún
México Ciudad Juarez
México Ciudad Obregón
México México City Chalco
México Pachuca
México Queretaro
México Reynosa
México Saltillo
New Zealand Hamilton
Nigeria Benin City
Ohio Cincinnati
Oregon Salem
Papua New Guinea Lae
Perú Huancayo
Perú Iquitos
Philippines Cavite
Philippines Cebu East
Philippines Legaspi
Philippines Urdaneta
Ukraine L'viv
Utah Salt Lake City East
Virginia Chesapeake
Washington Federal Way
Washington Vancouver


John said...

Let's look at this. A few in the Midwest, a few in the greater South (Cincinnati mission will go into Kentucky for sure) but nothing in the Northeast or Canada. Nothing in Europe except one more mission in Ukraine where things have been relatively successful for eastern Europe.

OTOH, lots more in Latin America and the Philippines where we have multiple generations on the ground now. (Getting called to Mexico Cancun would be wild, though.) A few more in Africa and Asia (including Australia and Papua New Guinea) but generally only where temples are already a day or two's drive away. (DR Congo might get more once they get their temple.)

The greater West is getting a bunch - one more each in Utah and Oregon, two each in Idaho, Washington and Arizona, three in California. There (along with Latin America and the Philippines) I see a lot of potential for working with less-actives and teaching their spouses, children, and grandchildren.

I was disappointed that my mission (PA Philadelphia) isn't being divided down. Right now we have seven stakes (PA Scranton, Valley Forge, Reading, Philadelphia; DE Dover and Wilmington; NJ Cherry Hill). I had the feeling we'd get realigned here into missions of four or five stakes, but there's always next year. We know the number of missionaries will go up here for right now; maybe the Brethren are waiting for the totsl number out to stabilize (this is basically a "double year" for new calls) before deciding what further to do.

Now I want to see the maps!

Mike Johnson said...

I want to see the maps as well.

I note that in the Church News, the Utah Salt Lake City East Mission is in the "Utah Area" while replacement presidents in the Utah Salt Lake City and Utah Salt Lake City South are still in the "Utah Salt Lake Area." The Church News made the point to list them as separate areas. I wonder if that is a mistake.

John said...

The outgoing president of Utah SLC Mission is from my ward. I suppose I could ask him what's with SL East. If they don't publish maps soon maybe I'll email him and ask. (There's nothing on his wife's blog at the moment.)

My guess is they know what stakes they want to put in each mission but haven't figured out how to align the Utah areas yet in response. (Currently SLC mission goes from West Wendover, NV to well into SW Wyoming, including Davis County UT but not much of Salt Lake County besides Salt Lake City proper.)

Adam said...

Around the world many missions are overseeing a ton of stakes/districts. Before the announcement of new mission in the Philippines, each mission had an average of 5 stakes and 5 districts. Districts are a lot more difficult to maintain. Luckily with the new missions it will decrease to around 8 a piece, but there seem to be way too many wards in America where there are four missionaries in a unit when one companionship could cover two. I can understand Spanish wards and branches, but normal wards with decent structure never need more that two missionaries.

I don't think that the amount of baptisms will just explode like some are thinking, I don't think they will go up more than 20% despite the 50%+ increase in missionaries. But something that I believe will go up much higher is the attendance and the amount of units upgrading/splitting. I hope to see giant rescue efforts in Central and South America as the Philippines has done, so that ideally the amount of districts will continue to decrease as they mature into stakes. I also look forward to seeing that other countries as well will become more self-sustained in their missionary force. The average # of missionaries per mission when statistics were last released were around 164, so if they keep that rate after the surge dies down than they could be expecting (164*405) around 70,000.

I was also surprised that Angola got its own mission, since there are only 5 branches recorded at the end of 2012. I'm guessing it'll incorporate a lot more than that.

Mike Johnson said...

North America North Area has two new missions--the Virginia Chesapeake and Ohio Cincinnati missions.

The Ohio Cincinnati Mission will probably cover the Cincinnati Ohio, Cincinnati Ohio East, Cincinnati Ohio North, Dayton Ohio, and Dayton Ohio East stakes. The Ohio Columbus Mission, I suspect, will retain the four Columbus stakes. The Cincinnati Ohio Stake has 6 units in northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati Ohio East Stake has 1. I would be surprised if the Ohio Cincinnati Mission extended further south, because you then get into the stakes of the Kentucky Louisville Mission.

I would guess that the Virginia Chesapeake Stake would include the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake Virginia, and Newport News stakes from the Virginia Richmond Mission (which would retain the three Richmond stakes and the Waynesboro stake). It is possible that one or both of the Kinston and Goldsboro North Carolina stakes could be transferred to the Virginia Chesapeake Mission, but that would require them to be transferred from the North America Southeast to North America Northeast Area. There are currently 8 stakes covered by the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.

The Richmond Virginia Chesterfield Stake could go into the new Virginia Chesapeake Mission. The Chesterfield and Chesapeake stakes are adjacent. The Chesapeake Stake extends into North Carolina, but is also close to the southern Richmond stake. I am trying to think why Chesapeake would be the name of the mission instead of Virginia Beach or Norfolk or Williamsburg, which seamed more likely. It could be because it takes in either a stake or two from northeast North Carolina and/or one from the southern part of the greater Richmond area.

I wonder if my own stake could be transferred from the Washington DC South Mission (which covers 8 stakes--78 wards and 6 branches) to the Virginia Richmond Mission, which would be very interesting. My stake has 11 wards and 3 branches and will have 12 wards in a few weeks and 3 branches in a few weeks. The stake could be split soon. Everything we do is with the stakes north of us. But, why have a mission with 3 stakes and another with 4 to our south and still have 8 stakes covered by our mission. It would definitely change our extra stake focus.

Of course, the Buena Vista, Buena Vista YSA, and Pembroke stakes from western Virginia could be added to the Richmond Mission (they would be coming from the West Virginia Charleston Mission).

If it effects our stake in Fredericksburg, it could be very interesting this summer. If not, it might be very interesting just to the south of us, but few here would likely know about it.

John said...

In North America, areas are administered by the Presidency of the Seventy, so boundaries between them are somewhat subjective. I expect that some area boundaries will change to reflect mission boundaries. This (along with mission boundaries changing with stake boundaries) has happened many time before.

Erik said...

I was disappointed there weren't more missions in Africa - since Africa has some of the highest church growth rates along with the strongest convert retention rates of anywhere in the world. A mission for Rwanda/Burundi, for example, would allow the Uganda mission to expand outreach in Uganda and South Sudan (which has a lot of potential for growth) - the DRC could also have benefited.

Instead, we see a lot of missions in Latin America and the Philippines, where convert retention rates have been low. It seems to me that a better strategy for church growth would be to capitalize on areas with higher retention and lower national outreach levels than on areas with lower retention and higher national outreach.

But then I'm not the one with the inspiration and the keys to make such decisions. With more missionaries and missions in Latin America, we will surely see another period of major church growth - if it is accompanied by better retention, all the better. National outreach will expand, and a greater number of smaller towns and rural areas reached. Not only do the Church's new missions fall squarely in line with its "centers of strength" policy - they also further fulfill the prophecy of Jacob 5, that there is an order to the gathering and that the Lamanites will be grafted in first.

Mike Johnson said...

Angola is currently covered by the Mozambique Maputo Mission. Now, Angola is on the Atlantic coast and Mozambique on the Indian Ocean coast. Zambia and Zimbabwe are between the two countries. But, they both speak Portuguese.

Angola has a district with 5 branches, an independent mission branch in Lubango, and an administrative branch (Mission president is the branch president and contains one or more groups).

Mozambique has two districts one with 6 branches and another with 7 branches, plus 7 independent mission branches, and an administrative branch.

The geographic separation probably means that few missionaries transfer between countries on each transfer anyway.

Angola might be a case of a mission not having 150-200 missionaries, but may be set up with 40-50, at least initially. Of course, that depends on the number of small groups in the administrative branch or in the ability to put dozens of companionships into pristine territory.

Adam said...

That's why I hope they use Mexico and Brazil to get reactivation vamped up. The method they used in the The Philippines in 2012 increased their attendance nationwide around 12,000, (which is how much it had increased over the 5 years previous to that), primarily due to a missionary focus on reactivation. If Mexico and Brazil can pull off similar it will do wonders.

John said...

I think that's why Latin America and the western states are getting a boost. Like I stated before there are some immediate teaching opportunities - including nonmember friends, something less-active members have more of, than active members do. But reactivated members are (obviously) much more likely to have their children and grandchildren baptized than less-active members are.

Mike Johnson said...

"centers of strength" policy often may not be as fast as a policy of opening up lots of small groups and trying to grow them, but it also serves the other missions of the church better--perfecting the saints and redeeming the dead. Redeeming the dead requires temples and they need to be in areas with a strong population with several stakes. Temples are effective in perfecting the saints.

In Latin America, the Church grew too fast for leaders to be adequately trained and for perfecting the saints to occur and this is one of the main reasons for low retention rates.

The Opinion said...

I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Cheaspeake Mission takes in a stake like Goldsboro into its mission boundaries. I live in the raleigh mission and in my stake, Apex, the missionaires for almost a year have been covering 2 wards, and at sometimes 3 wards because of the lack of missionaries for our mission. That will all change now. The work is moving along in Fayetteville, Wilmington, and goldsboro where they are baptizing 50-80 people in each stake a year.

njporter82 said...

I thought it was interesting that at least three of the missions are in areas that had a mission discontinued over the last couple of years. The Ohio Cincinnati, Macon Georgia and a second mission in Chicago Illinois.

John said...

Looking back at all the comments, I will say one more thing: the Brethren do not think about this sort of thing one year at a time.

Case in point: in 2009 PA Harrisburg mission closed, giving one stake (Scranton) to PA Philadelphia and the rest to PA Pittsburgh. That gave PA Philadelphia five stakes, while the next mission over in the other direction (NJ Cherry Hill) had just two. (When it was organized in 1995 it had two stakes and a district. The other NJ mission in Morristown went from three stakes, to four stakes and a district during that time.)

But in 2010 (when the presidents of Philadelphia and Cherry Hill both went home) Cherry Hill mission closed, with each stake going back to the mission it was in before 1995 - Cherry Hill to Philadelphia, and East Brunswick to Morristown. That left Philadelphia with six stakes (one has since divided) and Morristown mission with five plus a district.

So there may be this many more missions organized next year. There may not. Part of that depends on how many more missionaries head out in the next year. But I'm sure the Brethren are already looking at the maps.

The Opinion said...

This is a great article explaining some long term plans about missions being created.

soc. man I am ---------------- said...

Think about this - If there are 58 missions announce you can bet another 20 or so missions will be impacted although not being near the new mission. For example - The Chile Santiago south mission could be the Santiago portions of the Rancagua mission. The Rancagua mission alone isn't big enough to split on it's own. So The Rancagua mission is probably stealing some stakes/districts from the Concepcion mission which is really large. there will be a lot of new lines drawn. :)

Jeron Jackson said...

You guys are also forgetting about another practical reason certain mission are being created. Visas. Yu don't need them in western US. Countries with a relatively recent first time LDS presence have less experience with our mission department at the customs level whil countires in Latin America and Asia have more established relationships with the church having now been in some of these nations for 2nd and 3rd generation member families.

I completely agree on perfecting tye saints, temple work and activation memes above.

James Crowther said...

What happened to the Guatemala City East Mission? I don't know how you got the information, But it seems possible the Guatemala city missions will be renamed after realignment.

I was Surprised that a mission in Logan was not created, but instead the Boise Mission is being split in thirds. I heard from my Stake president in Idaho Falls that the Pocatello Mission is expecting 250 Missionaries by July. Because of the increase, the mission looks like it could split. I was thinking that the Twin falls Mission could also take in Pocatello. This would mean that the Mission headquarters will me moved to Idaho Falls. Each mission would have roughly 29 stakes.

Mike Johnson said...

I have watched dozens of young people open their mission calls as posted on Youtube, including the 80+ graduates of Olympus High School in 2012 (ok, that was my rival high school decades ago when I went to Skyline).

What I find interesting is while there are a lot called to Eastern Europe, Russia, and Ukraine and to the more traditional areas North America, Latin America, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines, I don't think I have seen a single video of a missionary called to an African country.

This may be because most of the missionaries are natives. There are North American and Western European missionaries in many of the countries, but I haven't seen a Youtube video of one yet. Africa is growing, but I think it is heavily growing by local missionaries.

I think Elder Holland said that 48 countries already had the lower age for missionary service before October.

I wanted to see more missions in Africa where the biggest boom in the Church is happening. Ghana and Nigeria will have a new mission. Three countries (Liberia, Angola, and Botswana) will finally have a mission.

58 is a 16.7% increase on the 347 missions. In Africa, the 21 mission are to be increased by 5, for a 23.8% increase. So, Africa is actually getting an above average increase in the number of missions.

The US is growing from 103 to 120 or a 16.5% increase or about average world wide.

Matthew Crandall said...

It is totally understandable that Europe only got 1 new mission (which makes up for the reduction a few years ago). The number of missionaries per mission have been reduced drasically over the last 10 years. In the Baltic Mission it went from about 140 to 90 over the last 13 years. They can increase the number of missionaries significantly without creating new missions.
With the new mission in Ukraine I wonder where Belarus will be. It recently was merged with the Baltic Mission, but a more natural place for it might be with one of the Ukrainian missions, especially now that there is a third mission.

wheels said...

Hey Mike
Johnson! This is you nephew Stephen. Nice to see you on here!

Josh Feil said...

It's the fourth mission in Ukraine, following Kyiv, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk. The L'viv Mission will come from a division of the Kyiv mission.

Margalho said...

Mike, many people in here (Brazil) have been receiving calls to serve in Africa.

Mike Johnson said...

Stephen, I do have a nephew Stephen, whose younger brother is serving in the Brazil Sao Paulo North Mission right now.

wheels said...

Yup, Ryan is doing quite well. Hope all is well out in virgina for ya.

Mike Johnson said...

Stephen, thanks. Yes, I read the emails from Ryan forwarded by your mother.

IIRC, you served in one of the missions in the Houston area. I was trying to remember where Andrew served.

Mike Johnson said...

As for us here in Virginia, our ward is expected to be split in a few weeks. It is a large ward. We averaged 305 in attendance in our last report. 90% of our members attended at least one in the last month and we averaged 65% in attendance.

There have been rumors for a while that the ward would be split. Bishops of two other wards in our stake announced to their wards that our ward was being split. The high councilor last week stated that in a few weeks we were going to have 15 wards in our stake and 7 wards covering the same area he was bishop of about 20 years ago. The seminary students were told that the split would be in March, but it would not affect seminary this year.

12 wards and 3 branches make for a large stake.

We have stake conference the first Sunday in March. I wonder if it will happen then.

Now, I am wondering out loud if our northward focus will change to southward, if the Richmond mission ends up covering our stake after losing at least 3 stakes to the new Chesapeake Mission.

I love witnessing growth in the Church, locally and globally.

Billie Mae said...

When do you think there will be boundary maps available?

Billie Mae said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wheels said...

@ Mike, Yes I served in the Houston East Mission. Andrew served in the Buenos Aires South Mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

Margalho makes me wonder if the Brazilians he knows have been called to the Mozambique Mission. That would make sense because of a common language.

I think one reason why Mexico and Brazil have gotten so many missions is the increase in missionaries serving from those countries. I am also wondering if Brazil sending more missionaries is one factor in Angola getting a new mission.

Margalho said...

@John Pack Lambert: not really, they are going to other countries (non-Portuguese speaking) as well. I've heard that all missions in here (Brazil) were created in places where the number of missionaries sent to the field has increased. And that, indeed, can be observed in the stakes around here, especially after the church has instituted the EFY program in here.

John Pack Lambert said...

Another possibility with the Virginia Cheasapeak Mission is they are going for the Cheasapeak Bay, and they may move the Dover Delaware Stake to that mission from the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

The Utah Salt Lake City Mission is contiguous only by passing through the Lake. The Salt Lake City west mission that was formed last year takes in Magna and goes all the way to the shore. The main think I noticed though is this mission includes all of Davis County, which had been in the Ogden Mission until a year ago. I am wondering though if the Salt Lake East Mission might take in Morgan from the Ogden Mission.

John Pack Lambert said...

I think I was most surprised that two new missions are being ofrmed in Ecuadore. Although with over 30 stakes in the country, maybe I should not be surprised. Still going from 3 to 5 missions was a major step forward.

The only other place that came close to that high a percentage of new missions was probably Arizona, buteven that was from 4 to 6 missions.

Ed Clinch said...

It is good to see collective growth, and I hope we are all improving our individual growth through faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. I hope all the people that I taught and help get baptized, as well as my former companions in Chile, are staying active and remembering their covenants with God.
Exciting to see more missionaries and missions, old one re-vivifying and new countries being established.

Mike Johnson said...

John Pack Lambert,

Interesting thought on the Virginia Chesapeake Mission. I guess it doesn't have to be the name of the city it is headquartered in. The ramifications are very interesting.

Good point about the Utah Salt Lake City Mission being connected through the Great Salt Lake. 48 of the 64 Davis County stakes are in the Utah Salt Lake City Mission--all the way up to Layton. The stakes in Syracuse (6), Clearfield (3), Clinton (3), West Point (2), Sunset (1), and South Weber (1) are in the Utah Ogden Mission.

coachodeeps said...

@James Crowther-The Guatemala City North Mission is being renamed the East Mission. See my comment under the analysis post on this site.

I served in the Guatemala City South Mission, and for the email I received it seems all my areas will be part of the East Mission now. WOW!

Sydney said...

Does anyone know if someone who turns their papers in sometime next month but with an availability date in July, could they get called to one of these new missions?

Sydney said...

Does anyone know if someone who turns their papers in sometime next month but with an availability date in July, could they get called to one of these new missions?

Jason Jackson said...


At any time, someone could be called to any mission. If your date is before July, you'll be assigned to the old mission and your president will determine if you're in the new mission. If you're date is late June or July, you'll be called to the new mission if you'll go to it.