Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Potential New Missions in 2016

Below is a list of potential new missions that may be created in 2016. Criteria for identifying potential new missions include recent LDS membership, congregational, and organizational (stakes and districts) growth trends, trends in new mission creations within the past decade, population size, and the boundaries of current missions. It is unclear whether any new missions will be organized next year as the number of members serving full-time missions has appeared to hold steady around 80,000-83,000 within the past nine months. However, the average number of missionaries per missions continues to be higher than historically averages. This suggests that dozens of new missions could theoretically be created in the immediate future.

  • Australia Brisbane (2nd mission)
  • Brazil Aracatuba
  • Brazil Jaboatao
  • Brazil Manaus (2nd mission)
  • Brazil Porto Velho
  • Brazil Sao Luis
  • Brazil Sorocaba
  • Burundi/Rwanda
  • Cambodia Phnom Penh (2nd mission - Vietnamese speaking to also include Vietnam) OR Vietnam Hanoi
  • Cameroon Yaounde
  • Colorado Grand Junction
  • Cote d'Ivoire Yamoussoukro
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Kananga
  • Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa (2nd mission)
  • Ethiopia Addis Ababa
  • Ghana Kumasi (2nd mission)
  • Idaho Falls Idaho
  • Malawi Lilongwe
  • Mexico Chilpancingo
  • Mexico Juchitan
  • Mexico Toluca
  • Nigeria Aba
  • Nigeria Ibadan
  • Nigeria Uyo
  • Philippines Bacolod (2nd mission)
  • Philippines Cabanatuan
  • Philippines Davao (2nd mission)
  • Philippines Dumaguete
  • Philippines Lucena
  • Philippines Ormoc
  • Philippines Santiago
  • Samoa Apia (2nd mission)
  • Slovakia Bratislava
  • Solomon Islands Honiara
  • Spain Alicante
  • Taiwan Kaohsiung
  • Tanzania Dar Es Salaam
  • Texas Austin
  • Texas El Paso
  • Texas Plano
  • Thailand Bangkok (2nd mission)
  • Tonga Nuku'alofa (2nd mission)
  • Zimbabwe Bulawayo


Ryan Searcy said...

I could see missions created in Flagstaff (upwards of 16 stakes comprised from Nevada Las Vegas, Arizona Phoenix, New Mexico Farmington, and Arizona Scottsdale) and Yuma (5 stakes coming from the California Redlands, California San Diego, Arizona Tempe, and Nevada Las Vegas Missions).

I really don't see Vietnam or Cambodia getting another mission. From what I have heard, Cambodia was struggling to maintain its new stakes.

Iris and Craig said...

Mexico Toluca could definitely use one! When I was out there I had met plenty of people that had never even seen the missionaries, places out in the country where missionaries hadn't even knocked. I also had places in areas out there where we couldn't knock because it was so far away from the chapel so it wasn't worth it. One day though.

John Pack Lambert said...

I wonder if there is any chance that the Hartford Connecticut Mission will be organized again.

I think it is highly likely that Cameroon will see a new mission. I also expect to see the Uganda Mission split in some way, either splitting off Ethiopia or splitting off Rwanda and merging it with Burundi.

Kevin Cottrell said...

Thanks for posting this!

If Thailand were to split, the second one would probably be the Thailand Udorn Mission and include the Lao-speaking NW of Thailand and all of Laos. A few years ago when I was serving there I couldn't imagine the mission splitting anytime soon, but I think the time has come now. It's a lot for one mission president to handle the expansion of the church three countries, especially with prepping members in Bangkok for a temple and still needing to expand to a lot of the provinces in Central and South Thailand.

John Pack Lambert said...

Is Myanmar under the Bangkock Mission?

In doing some research on Ronald A. Rasband I learned that as of the mid-1980s he and his wife were living in a house in Ridgefield, Connecticut. It was from there that Jon Huntsman Sr recruited Rasband to come be a lead figure in starting up Huntsman Chemical. Rasband had worked with Huntsman Container Corporation earlier on. I actually found this September 1996 article on Rasband from the New York Times. I have to say its references to the situation of Elder Rasband's ancestors in the 19th-century are weak, but its confusion of Hunstman Chemical with Huntsman Container is a show that the reporters in the New York Times Regional section were extremely weak on understanding business.

Bryan Dorman said...

I do see Chilpancingo and Toluca both getting new missions pretty soon in Mexico. Toluca has been growing bit by bit and a new stake (Lerma) was formed rather recently. Lots of western EDO. MX remain untouched outside of the Mexico City suburbs and Toluca.

Chilpancingo hasn't had a lot of growth lately. Like the Puebla North Mission, there haven't been any new congregations formed there lately. Also it is the most violent state in Mexico, aptly named Guerrero state, and quite a few people are moving out. Nevertheless it would be nicely placed as it would almost evenly split the Cuernavaca mission. Another stake in Chilpancingo would do the trick. But like I said there hasn't been any growth there.

Juchitan is tricky. You would only have three stakes and one, perhaps two districts. It would be a very compact mission as it is only about 3 hours driving from Chahuites (the eastern side of the mission) to Huatulco, It would make it easier for the Oaxaca mission president as well as the Tuxtla Mission President but only marginally so for the latter.

Pascal Friedmann said...

Am I the only one who believes that a Mission in Wyoming would make sense? The state looks like a jigsaw being divided among half a dozen Missions, for none of which WY is a real priority. I sketched out a potential transfer sheet for a Mission in Casper a while ago but I can't find it for the life of me. I have also heard that the Afton WY Stake, for example, has called someone to make sure that convert baptisms don't overlap at the local stake center - I talked to the man a while ago (he is the father of a student in my program) and he said that there have been over 100 convert baptisms in the Afton Stake last year. That said, most numerical growth still occurs in the Cheyenne/Laramie/Casper area.

Other than that, I am very much agreeing with the list -- except that there are still the old rumors intensifying each year around this time that the Alpine German-Speaking Mission will be split to reestablish a separate Mission in Zurich.

Ryan Searcy said...

The only viable missions I could see in Wyoming (since the stakes there are spread out) might be Cheyenne (5 stakes), Sheridan (5 stakes, 1 district), and Evanston (12 stakes).

A mission in Cheyenne will most likely take the northern parts of the Colorado Fort Collins Mission - Cheyenne, Cheyenne East, Laramie, Casper, and Riverton.

A mission in Sheridan would most likely take the southern portions of the Montana Billings and North Dakota Bismarck Missions - Cody, Lovell, Worland, Gillette, Rapid City (NDBM), and Pierre (NDBM).

A mission in Evanston would go across area boundaries, but would probably mostly take from the Utah Salt Lake City East and Idaho Pocatello Missions - Coalville, Evanston, Evanston South, Lyman, Green River, Rock Springs, Kemmerer, Montpelier (IPM), Montpelier South (IPM), Paris (IPM), Afton (IPM), and Thayne (IPM).

Pascal Friedmann said...

I'm not sure if I like any of these suggestions. I believe the target population in each proposed Mission is too small, and so is the number of settlements suitable for Missionaries to be assigned. Also, all proposed Missions are headquartered in the periphery of the state, while Casper is relatively central and relatively large. The only somewhat suitable other option is Cheyenne, but this would leave the bulk of Wyoming's membership at least five to six hours away - granted, that would be about the same for Casper.

BryceisBibleMan said...

I was in the mbm and spent about a year on wy befor the change and from the number of missionary we had in wy was about 40 in 4 stakes. But I do thank that a mission is coming but not 2016 I'm thanking the next 10 years we will have a mission in wy

BryceisBibleMan said...

I was in the mbm and spent about a year on wy befor the change and from the number of missionary we had in wy was about 40 in 4 stakes. But I do thank that a mission is coming but not 2016 I'm thanking the next 10 years we will have a mission in wy

JonErik said...

Interesting that Idaho Falls is on the list. I'm sure my perspective is myopic at best, but we seem well served by the Pocatello mission. We already have two sets of missionaries assigned to our Stake, and we struggle to keep them busy. In our Ward Conference last month, the Stake President said year-to-date convert baptisms for the entire Stake are only 8, and three of them are children from part-member we have a lot of work to do in supporting the missionaries.

Joseph said...

Unit Update

30 Aug
Agoe Nyive Branch, Lomé Togo Stake (7 Branches, 9 Wards)

13 Sep
Gesco Ward, Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon North Stake (9 Wards)

20 Sep
Anibong Julita Branch, Tolosa Philippines District (9 Branches)
Cité Verte Ward, Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire Niangon North Stake (9 Wards)
Fagbewesa Branch, Ile-Ife Nigeria District (11 Branches)
Kélegougan Ward, Lomé Togo Stake (7 Branches, 9 Wards)
Unicafe Ward, Abobo Cote d'Ivoire West Stake (1 Branch, 8 Wards)

27 Sep
Barreiras Brazil District (3 Branches)
Barreiras 1st Branch
Barreiras 2nd Branch
Luis Eduardo Magalhaes Branch

Búzios Branch, Macaé Brazil Stake (3 Branches, 5 Wards)

4 Oct
Ayeso Branch, Ile-Ife Nigeria District (11 Branches)
Matshitshi Branch, Mwene-Ditu Democratic Republic of the Congo District (6 Branches)
Peage Branch, Mwene-Ditu Democratic Republic of the Congo District (6 Branches)

YTD 470(11.75/week 40)
Africa 145, 30.9%
Asia 15, 3.2%
Europe 17, 3.6%
North America (w/ Caribbean) 125, 26.6%
Pacific 40, 8.5%
South and Central America 50, 10.6%
Utah & Idaho 78, 16.6%

Totals no-sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 24 148 418 3,151 544 22,470 7,349 34,105
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,589 10 12,538 2,065 16,424
US n/a 73 124 1,542 7 12,202 1,915 15,863
Utah n/a 15 10 576 1 4,678 327 5,607
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 336 150 551
Out 14 67 287 1,562 534 9,932 5,283 17,681

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,151 555 22,474 7,440 34,211

Eduardo Clinch said...

MBM stands for... Mission Branch Mission? One year in Wyoming? Ok. South Dakota? Huh?
Two missionaries for a whole stake is pretty amazing. I hope they are treated well.
If the Church creates at least 10 new missions in 2016 I will be happy.

Ryan Searcy said...

I imagine MBM is the Montana Billings Mission.

James Anderson said...

It was explained in the regional conference for the Utah South Area that the numbers of missionaries serving is not expected to drop below 80,000 for the foreseeable future. This was the same conference that Elder Ballard gave that talk about asking questions that was posted to

Mike Johnson said...

Yes, MBM in the given context must have been Montana Billings Mission. I initially though Maryland Baltimore Mission, but quickly that became obviously not correct.

Wyoming does have a mission--the Wyoming Mormon Trails Mission, but that covers about four historic sites and contains a single branch--probably for the missionaries.

Eduardo Clinch said...

I wanted to pipe in about a different very isolated part of a continent where peoples, let alone members, are very sparse: central Australia. I noticed how the only three stakes of the Adelaide Temple are concentrated around the city of Adelaide, South Australia state, while the one district is way up north in the Northern Territory by the Timor Sea, with only four branches. The site does mention that there is another district in its temple area in NW Victoria state, but does not list it or show it on the map.
Fascinating area of many square miles/kilometers and few populated cities of import.
There is maybe only a couple other temples with so few units supporting it. Where would a new Australian mission make sense the most?

Eduardo Clinch said...

And I guess it makes the most sense to create new missions where the people are located in greater numbers, plus enough existing LDS members to support the elders and sisters serving there. That is probably why another Brisbane mission would make sense as suggested in this blog post.

Ryan Searcy said...

The missing district is the Mildura Australia District, which was absorbed into one of the Adelaide Stakes (I believe Firle?)

Christopher Nicholson said...

According to, the Huambo Branch in Angola was discontinued. Sad! I thought things were going well there.

Joseph said...

Unit Update
20 Sep
Affery Branch, Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan Mission (15 Branches, 4 Stakes)

Breman Ward, Kumasi Ghana Bantama Stake (5 Branches, 11 Wards)
Chungho 2nd Ward, Taipei Taiwan South Stake (7 Wards)

11 OCT
Ahurai Ward, Faaa Tahiti Stake (7 Wards)
Cottonwood Ward, St George Utah Little Valley Stake (10 Wards)
Liberté 2nd Ward, Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Masina Stake (10 Wards)
Ranches Parkway 2nd Ward (Spanish), Eagle Mountain Utah East Stake (13 Wards)
Sabanalarga Branch, Barranquilla Colombia El Carmen Stake (3 Branches, 5 Wards)

YTD 477(11.63/week 40)
Africa 148, 31.0% (Middle East/Africa North Area Added)
Asia 15, 3.1%
Europe 17, 3.6%
North America (w/ Caribbean) 125, 26.2%
Pacific 41, 8.6%
South and Central America 51, 10.7%
Utah & Idaho 80, 16.8%

Totals no-sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,151 544 22,474 7,352 34,112
Us/Can 10 81 131 1,589 10 12,538 2,065 16,424
US n/a 73 124 1,542 7 12,202 1,915 15,863
Utah n/a 15 10 576 1 4,678 327 5,607
Canada n/a 8 7 47 3 336 150 551
Out 15 67 287 1,562 534 9,934 5,287 17,688

With Sensitive
Areas Temples Miss Stakes Dist Wards Branch Totals
Global 25 148 418 3,151 555 22,478 7,443 34,218

Pascal Friedmann said...

Talking about it: The Africa Southeast Area is still some 10 stakes short of its anticipated creation goal (that was reenforced in the October World Report). It looks like this will be a very busy time there!

Matt said...

I bet the branch in Huambo is now a member group. The mission maintains a blog and there are regular posts on Huambo. I bet the reason for the branch closing is due to leadership problems. Then again, it may just be an error on CDOL.

John Pack Lambert said...

There is at least 1, probably 2 or 3, wards in my stake that have 3 companionships of missionaries. The branch my girlfriend is in for a while had 3 companionships. I believe right now it has 5 missionaries. So having just 2 sets of missionaries in a stake is insanely low by Michigan standards.

One think to bear in mind is that with various changes starting in 2003 the primary responsiblity for missionary work has been clearly placed on the bishop, the missionaries are there to assist the existing leadership structure. This means that one function of the mission president is to interact with the stake and other leadership in the mission.

This means that to some extent the number of missionaries in a mission can varry a lot due to various factors. As it is I think the Detroit Mission peaked at about 160 over last summer, and anticipate peaking at that level in the near future, yet some missions in the western United States have over 200 missionaries.

So a reason to split Pocatello might well be to make it so the mission president can more effectively spend his time working with the local leaders in place, and not so much to increase the number of missionaries.

John Pack Lambert said...

On another note we got two new missionaries in my ward this last week, one in each of the companionships. We lost our partially African-American elder, he was transfered to the other zone in the Bloomfield Hills Stake where he will serve as zone leader over the missionaries in most of Detroit plus some of the east suburbs. OK, it's probably only 60% of the population of Detroit in his zone, but I think more than half.

One of our new missionaries got transfered her from an area in the Philippines Urdaneta Mission. He was called to serve in the Michigan Detroit Mission. He went to the MTC in the Philippines, where he is from. However he did not get his visa in time so they sent him to Urdeneta as a Visa Waiter. He thought this last week was cold and has no idea what is coming up.

This is the first time I have known someone who visa waited outside the US to come to the US. I had companions from Canada, France and Mongolia on my mission in Las Vegas, and we had missionaries from at least 13 other countries, and that is only counting countries left from, there were a few more born elsewhere but largely raised in the US.

In the past year we had a missionary in our ward born in Zambia, but he had come to the US as a teenager and not joined the Church until after emigrating. We did maybe 10 years ago have a missionary from Tonga, but although he left from Tonga he was born in California, in fact at the same hospital as my older brother.

The Detroit Mission has had missionaries from Tonga, Samoa, Canada, the Dominican Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Russia and Uganda over the years. And those are only the places I know of and am sure I remember correctly. Still a former visa waiter from the Philippines is a step further than I have heard of before. To me it is a sign the Church is more international.

John Pack Lambert said...

With 7 branches and 9 wards the Lome Togo Stake looks like it is close to either getting a new stake (that would I guess require a new ward, either through splitting an existing one or upgrading a branch), or maybe splitting off a district from the stake. That is good news. I hope Benin gets a stake soon as well.

John Pack Lambert said...

I once read a statement by Margaret Blair Young where she said the Democratic Republic of the Congo as basically ground zero but many countries in Africa such as Ivory Coast, Ghana and a few others, and where many of the great miracles of the Church at present are occuring.

I wish we could hear more of the personal stories involved. I really have enjoyed Elder Andersen's talks, such as the one last Spring, where he highlighted two couples who are key to the growth of the Church in Ivory Coast. Also Elder Renlund had some interesting comments about his experience as Africa South-east Area president.

We need to remember the phenomenal growth in places like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Togo is being carried out by many small and more than we will probably know in this life great miracles.

John Pack Lambert said...

Mwene-Ditu which is the headquarters of a district that just went from 4 to 6 branches is a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo of about 2000,000 people. According to the Wikipedia article it was formed in 2003 on government orders. The Mwene-Ditu District is the furthest east sub-unit of the DR Congo Lumbumbashi Mission. The neighboring Luputa Stake (centered on a city of under 40,000 with no Wikipedia article), does have units that go just as far east as the Mwene-Ditu District units, but they all go a lot further west. a little to the north is the Mbuji-Mayi District, possibly only covering part of that city. Mbuji-Mayi is the 3rd largest city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has a population somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people or maybe a bit more than the latter figure. While the Mwene-Ditu Distrcit and the Luputa stake touch each other, they are seperated from the Mbuji-Mayi Distrcit by areas covered by the Lumbumbashi Mission Branch. About eqidistant award from the Mbuji-Mayi District is the Kananga Stake. By area this stake is probably about a third the size of the Luputa Stake, but still 2 to 3 times as big as the Mbuji-Mayi and Mwene-Ditu Distrcits. Kananga has roughly 500,000 people. I could see these 2 stakes and 2 districts being formed into a seperate mission. Along with some of the inter-connecting and probably some surrounding areas that do not have any branches yet.

It is not just The Democratic Republic of the Congo where the Church has its presence only in limited areas. In the South Africa Cape Town Mission about half the mission area is taken up by the Mission Branch, and then there are two more branches directly under the mission that each take up nearly as much area as any of the stakes. Much of this consists of most of the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. However there is a ward in that province. The Kimberly Ward, in the Bloemfontein Stake in the Durban Mission. Northern Cape Province has just over 1 million people, in an area just a little smaller than Montana. Kimberley, a city of 225,000 is the capital and located on the very eastern edge of the Province. It is a city where just over 60% of the population is Black, another 25% Coloured (meaning they are of mixed black and white heritage, basically although it can be more complex), and over 40% of the population identifies Afrikaans as their native tongue, followed by Tswana at 35%. Kimberley was Tswana land until the 19th-century, although how many of these are recent immigrants from countries like Botswana is hard to say.

Upington, which is the next largest city, and does not have a branch, has a population of 74,000. It is essentially 60% Colored and 25% black, with 85% of the population speaking Afrikaans. Upington's population is less Coloured, more black and esseinally as White (10% to 8 or 9%) as the surrounding cities.

So clearly even in South Africa, where the Church has been the longest of anywhere in Africa, there is much outreach work to do.

Pascal Friedmann said...

I am an avid reader of the DR Congo Lubumbashi Mission blog. Basically, past posts have often suggested that there are dozens of member groups operating within the Lubumbashi Mission. Travel in this part of the country is extremely difficult, even by Sub-Sahara standards. That said, MP and his wife seem to be in surprisingly constant contact with these groups and visit them regularly. Group sizes seem to vary between a couple dozen and a couple hundred, most of whom are likely not baptized members (but may have self-affiliated for decades).

Often, when formal branches are officially established, there are hundreds of baptisms within the first couple of months with a Church presence. There has also been an area policy established that investigators must be living within a 25 mile radius from an official Church presence in order to be baptized.

In a lot of regards, the DR Congo is a unique country, because it almost seems like the Church has intentionally slowed growth in order to make reasonable local administration possible. I believe that the DR Congo (along with Cape Verde and Cote d'Iviore) is among the few sizable countries in the word in which Church members could someday constitute the majority of the population.

Grant Emery said...

"I believe that the DR Congo (along with Cape Verde and Cote d'Iviore) is among the few sizable countries in the word in which Church members could someday constitute the majority of the population."
Pascal, oh, I hope you're right! I would love to see a majority-LDS country, especially in Africa.

Grant Emery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eduardo Clinch said...

Tonga may be a few years away from 51 %.
We used to think Chile was going LDS but retention didn't match baptismal rates.

Christopher Nicholson said...

Elder McConkie stated nearly forty years ago, "I foresee the day when the seven stakes in Chile will be seven times seventy. I foresee the day when the 250 active Chilean missionaries will be increased by the thousands. I foresee the day when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be the most powerful influence in this nation... The Lord will pour out blessings abundantly upon this nation because of the righteousness of the people who live here."

Let's hope this wasn't a conditional prophecy that we botched up, and that it will still happen someday.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Chile is still growing but not as miraculously as we had hoped as we did back in the 1990s. But of the many chilenos I know personally, some of them will figure prominently in the history of their country and our church. I pray that the second temple in Concepcion will revitalize the faith and activity of thousands and thousands (the Concepcion mission reportedly baptized 5,000 in one month in 1980, maybe a record for our faith) and spur a new era of growth and prosperous LDS presence.